By Jel Santos
Sixteen persons suffered minor injuries when a service elevator at the PBCom Tower in Makati City malfunctioned late Thursday night, according to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
The Operations Center of PRC said the injured individuals were rushed to the Makati Medical Center, and Ospital ng Makati.
PRC belied reports circulating in social media that the elevator plummeted from the 52nd to the fifth floor, saying that these were exaggerated.
Makati police chief Sr. Supt. Rogelio Simon said the elevator, which was packed with 28 passengers, started malfunction at around 11:30 p.m. as it was on its way down in what is considered as the third tallest building in the country.
He said that the elevator was a “service elevator”, and should not have been used without an operator, saying the passengers just kept on pressing its buttons that could have been the cause of the malfunction.
“There were 28 people aboard the service elevator. That is a ‘service elevator’, its should be used with an operator. However, they still rode it. They just kept pushing buttons there that is why it malfunctioned,” Simon told the Manila Bulletin.
According to Simon, upon reaching the 47th floor, he said, the elevator started to malfunction, accelerating and abruptly stopping at each floor without any of the passengers having a chance to get off as the doors also quickly closed.
He added that because of the sheer drop from each floor, the passengers collided with each other.
And when the elevator finally reached the ground floor, the visibly shaken passengers staggered out, with some of them throwing up.
“Some of them were vomiting upon reaching the ground floor. They were very dizzy and weak after the incident that is why some of them were rushed to nearby hospitals,”Simon said.