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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3 workers killed in 2 new Hanjin accidents in Subic

ABS CBN News regarding latest fatal accident at Hanjin Subic

3 workers killed in 2 new Hanjin accidents in Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines -- At least three workers were added to the list of victims of work-related deaths at the country’s largest shipbuilding facility here.

Neil Mojica and Eduardo Molina, both residents of Barangay (village) Balaybay in Castillejos, Zambales, died shortly before 11 p.m. Monday when a crane they were moving to another location fell on them, reports from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority showed.

Investigators of the SBMA’s ecology center said the two, who worked as sling men for a subcontractor at the shipbuilding facility of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. Philippines (HHIC), were removing the shackles from the crane when it cranes snapped from its trestle and pinned them.

Mojica and Molina were killed instantly.

At least two other workers, whom the SBMA did not identify, were hurt and taken to a local hospital.

Ameth dela Llana-Coval, head of the SBMA ecology department, said their preliminary investigation showed that before the accident, a worker told a colleague that the trestles on which the collapsed part of the crane rested “were not properly on the level.”

Former Zambales vice governor Ramon Lacbain II, head of Task Force Hanjin, a citizen's group monitoring the operations of the company, said the third fatality died from another accident Tuesday morning.

Lacbain said the worker, Angelo Banaag, died at the James L. Gordon Hospital while undergoing treatment.

Banaag was taken to the hospital after falling from a roof, Lacbain said.

The latest accident brings to five the total number of work-related deaths at the South Korean-owned facility over the last three months.

On January 18, an explosion killed two welders and injured three others.

The SBMA found Hanjin guilty of violating at least seven safety standards and ordered the company to comply with international safety standards.

Task Force Hanjin also accused the firm of violating the occupation and safety standards of the country.

Lacbain said his group has documented at least nine work-related deaths at Hanjin since 2006.

He said Reynan Loquinario, 25, died on December 24 last year when he fell on the road together with several steel pipes loaded on a truck.

A Korean, was reportedly driving the truck when the accident happened.

Another accident happened in the second week of January when another worker was run over by a truck but the victim remained unidentified, he said.

“We reiterate our call for President [Gloria] Macapagal-Arroyo to create an independent body to determine violations by Hanjin and their subcontractors of safety standards so that appropriate actions can be taken and avoid further deaths and accidents,” Lacbain told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net).

“The families of the victims deserve justice not only in terms of monetary compensation but also in holding accountable those who have failed in enforcing international safety standards [at the facility],” he said.
By Ansbert Joaquin - Northern Luzon Bureau and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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