Saturday, February 1, 2020

Portion of Skyway Stage 3 collapses amid Manila warehouse fire

A section of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 elevated expressway in Pandacan, Manila has collapsed reportedly due to the heat of a factory warehouse blaze that lasted for a little over three hours on Saturday. The Bureau of Fire Protection said the fire started before 10:38 a.m. on February 1, with the “Task Force Bravo” (fifth-highest) alarm level being called several minutes past 11 a.m.

The flames at the San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation plastics plant along Tomas Claudio Street were finally contained at around 1:50 p.m., according to the Manila Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office. However, part of the skyway gave in before then apparently due to the heat of the Manila Plastics Plant fire.

"It's a portion of Skyway Stage 3 parapet that was damaged. Stage 3 is still under construction and therefore, not operational. We are still assessing the extent of damage," Skyway Corporate Communications head Marlene Ochoa said in a statement. The Skyway Stage 3 road project is an 18.3 kilometer-long elevated expressway extending from Buendia in Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway or NLEX at Balintawak in Quezon City.

The infrastructure project aims to connect the NLEX and SLEX, while decongesting traffic in Metro Manila especially along C4 (primarily EDSA), C5 (CP Garcia) and Central Metro Manila, according to the official Public-Private Partnership Center website.< It would also complete the Metro Manila Skyway System from Alabang to Balintawak, in accordance with the government-approved agreement between Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada and the Philippine National Construction Company.

Project benefits include reducing travel time from Buendia to Balintawak to just 15 to 20 minutes from two hours and reducing road traffic by as much as 55,000 vehicles daily.