05 May 2014

Worker dies in Subic shipyard accident

SUBIC, Zambales , Philippines– A worker died from burns in the latest accident that occurred at the Hanjin shipyard here, hospital sources said yesterday.

Randy Gacos, 29, a welder of Finback Corp., a subcontractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines Inc., suffered severe burns while working Wednesday. He was rushed to the Unihealth-Baypointe Hospital and Medical Center at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone but doctors failed to save him.

Sources said Gacos’ welding hose caught fire and the flames spread over his body.

Data showed Gacos is the 37th worker to have died while working at the shipyard.

Meanwhile, a labor group challenged President Aquino to uphold and protect the rights of the workers at the Hanjin shipyard.

Partidong Manggagawa chairman Renato Magtubo said the death of Gacos would serve as a test for Aquino who once thanked Hanjin for its P24-billion investment in the country.

“The Hanjin shipyard is a graveyard of workers. While capitalists are scrimping on protection for its work force and the government is sleeping on its job of enforcement, workers are dying in the workplace,” Magtubo said.

The group estimated that there are at least 21,000 workers at the shipyard but only a few hundreds are employed directly while the rest were hired through the subcontractors. (Bebot Sison, Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star)