Clearing works at PGH done, DPWH moves to evaluate debris to find out extent of fire damage

Published May 22, 2021, 1:49 PM

by Betheena Unite

The fire-affected portions of the Philippine General Hospital have been cleared of debris and will now be evaluated to determine the level of damage, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

CLEARED– The Department of Public Works and Highways will now conduct an evaluation on the debris found at the fire-affected portions of the Philippine General Hospital following the three-day clearing operations. (Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar announced Saturday, May 22, that DPWH engineers specializing in structural analysis and material testing will now start evaluating the samples extracted from building structures affected by the recent fire at the state-run hospital.

“No one can tell the level of damage until a proper and thorough assessment and laboratory evaluation of material sample components have been done,” Villar said.

Villar further said that samples from concrete coring and rebars extraction will undergo testing today, May 22, at the laboratory of Bureau of Research and Standards (BRS) as DPWH workers substantially completed the clearing operations at the hospital’s third floor service wing which was razed by fire early Sunday, May 16.

According to Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, samples through concrete coring were successfully taken in eight locations to determine the integrity of the fire-affected building area and implement corrective actions that must be done to ensure it is safe for continued use.

Extracted on the fire scene were concrete coring samples in three columns, three beams, one slab, and one unaffected column for comparison while rebars on structural membrane were also taken with one each from slab and beam.

The clearing operations started on May 19. The next day, the damage assessment was conducted to verify if the load-carrying capabilities of structural elements are sound and have not been significantly compromised by the fire.

Villar further said that the assessment report is expected to come out next week with corrective actions for the necessary repairs and restoration work required for the affected portion.