PUERTO GALERA, Oriental Mindoro -– The municipal engineer of this premier tourist town has recommended the abandonment of the whole public market building which was gutted by fire on Monday and rendered unsafe for use.
Engineer Geraldin Cepillo-Bacay, the town’s chief engineer, said the three-storey building is now beyond its useful life after joint investigators from the Bureau of Fire Protection, Municipal Risk Reduction and Management Office, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the local Philippine National Police found huge cracks on beams and columns.
In her inspection report submitted to Mayor Rocky D. Ilagan, Bacay said big fissures were also seen on the slab of the second floor due to exposure to high temperature which may have also penetrated and seeped through the concrete beams which caused the weakening of steel reinforcements.
“ This compromises the overall makeup of the building and substantially destabilizes its desired strength,” Bacay said.
The market, located in the central business district, was engulfed by fire of still unknown origin at about 9:12 p.m. on Monday and was put under control at 10:30 p.m.
Nobody was hurt in the incident. The municipal engineering office has estimated that at least P60-million will be needed to construct a new public market building.