11 October 2011

Keppel-Singapore looks into Subic shipyard mishap

The Singaporean head office of the Keppel Subic Shipyard on Sunday announced the creation of a task force to investigate Friday’s shipyard accident in which six workers were killed and six others were seriously wounded.

Mok Kim Whang, Keppel Subic Shipyard president and general manager, said that the task force composed of senior managers, will also try to find ways to enhance safety at the shipyard.

"The (police) investigation is on-going, and we continue to cooperate fully with the authorities in the Philippines,” Whang said in a statement released by its mother-company Keppel Offshore & Marine based in Singapore.

The ship yard has suspended work on a vessel pending the results of investigation.

“We are deeply saddened that one of the seven injured workers had passed away in Our Lady of Lourdes International Medical Center, Olongapo City at around 10.15pm last night,” Whang said. “This brings the total number of fatalities to six,” he said.

The casualties were employees of Keppel Subic Shipyard while two others were under the employ of the yard’s subcontractor Garcia & Rocafor General Services.

The six injured workers are KSS project employees.

Three of the injured are in stable condition while the other three are still in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Whang said that the company will extend financial assistance to the victims’s families.

Police investigators said that the workers were repairing the MV Tombarra, a 22,650-ton container ship, when a massive steel ramp collapsed and fell on them qaround 10 a.m. Friday.

Subic Mayor Jeffrey Khonghun urged the company to provide full compensation for the workers.

Four of the workers died instantly while a fifth victim was pronounced by doctors as “dead on arrival” at the Lourdes International Medical Hospital in Olongapo City.

Malacañang has also ordered an investigation to determine if the Keppel project complied with occupational health and safety standards. (Manila Standard Today)