11 October 2011

DOLE probes Subic shipyard tragedy

MANILA - Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she has ordered an immediate investigation into the Keppel Subic Shipyard incident that killed 6 workers and injured several others.

Baldoz, in a press statement Monday, said she ordered a team from the DOLE Regional Office in San Fernando, Pampanga to determine the cause of the incident and recommend measures t prevent another similar tragedy from happening.

"Your investigation should be thorough and exhaustive," Baldoz told DOLE Region 3 Director Leopoldo de Jesus.

She also told de Jesus to prepare the profiles of the victims and their families and help them.

De Jesus has sent a safety engineer and a labor inspector to the site, according to the DOLE.

The department said Keppel has suspended its operations in the work site to attend to the victims and give way to a joint DOLE-Keppel investigative team.

"The company also gave assurance to the families of the victims that it will shoulder all the burial and hospital expenses of their workers, on top of their insurance benefits," DOLE said.

A Keppel management report issued within hours of the incident showed that the incident happened on the stern ramp of M/V Tombarra, which is being repaired on the drydock, according to the DOLE.

"The fabricated tower support where the ramp stern was rested toppled and the stern ramp wire rope broke off, unable to hold the ramp from falling," the report said (ABS-CBNnews.com)