DUMAGUETE CITY – Twelve people suffered injuries after a canopy fronting the Freedom Park Stage here collapsed during an ongoing Buglasan Festival event due to heavy rains close to midnight on Wednesday.
Adrian Sedillo, head of the Negros Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), confirmed Thursday that one of the metal frames of the dome-shaped huge canopy gave in at around 11 p.m.
The canopy’s dome cover was already inverted full of trapped rainwater due to the heavy downpour.
Other participants in the event, a “Balak-Balitaw” contest, were spared because only a portion of the canopy’s weakened metal framing collapsed.
The DRRMO responders and other rescue teams immediately attended to the injured and brought them to hospitals here.
Those who were brought to the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital were Rogemae Granton, 21, a Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) student and native of Sacsac, Bacong; Generita Granton, 67, widow, from Lumbangan, Mabinay; Christa Indiape, 22, NORSU student and from Poblacion, Ayungon; Luis Bańez, 18, NORSU student and a resident of Barangay Tabuctubig, Dumaguete City; Abraham Palomar, 61, from Barangay Lumbangan, Mabinay; Rochie Elopre, 32, of Poblacion, Zamboanguita; and Ferie Palomar, 20, of Barangay Apulong, Valencia, Negros Oriental.
Those brought to the Silliman University Medical Center were Runelo Pińero, 36, a resident of Barangay Balugo, Valencia, Negros Oriental; and Vanessa Braza, 22, of Barangay 3, Tanjay City; while those rushed to the Holy Child Hospital were Rosini Ybańez, 62, of Barangay Lumbangan, Mabinay; Mary Beth Cadayaona, 40, of Poblacion, Mabinay; and Oswel Narsiso, of legal age, from Barangay Abos, Mabinay.
Governor Roel Degamo has ordered an inquiry into the incident as other events in relation to the Buglasan Festival are still lined up until next week.
The Buglasan Festival is a yearly event featuring the province’s and the different local government units’ history, culture, heritage, socio-economic and tourism draws.
This year, the event runs from October 14-27. Mary Judaline Partlow / PNA – northboundasia.com