Courier killed in cargo lift accident at Cebu mall
CEBU CITY — A courier of a cargo forwarding company was killed after he was crushed by the cargo elevator of a mall in Cebu City’s downtown area, past 1 p.m. on Monday.
The accident crushed the body of Juan Amistad Udto, 24, of Barangay Looc in Lapu-Lapu City, said PO3 Geronimo Cristobal of the Cebu City Police Office’s Homicide Division.
Udto was a native of Pangan-an Island, an islet off mainland Lapu-Lapu City and an employee of Airspeed Philippines Inc.
In a statement, Augusto Go, owner of the Elizabeth Mall (E-Mall), said he was still waiting for the complete report on the accident.
“I don’t have the full report yet but our immediate concern was the life of that courier. We immediately sent him to the nearest hospital, which happens to be Saint Vincent, an affiliate of our group,” he said.
“Initial report I got is that the homicide division of the Cebu City Police Office has ruled it as accident. For now, we have extended all the help needed by the family from the hospital expenses, everything,” he added.
He said their lawyer and wife Elizabeth, the manager of the mall, have been on top of the situation and have been assisting the family.
“We’ll conduct an investigation, we have an existing contract with a company maintaining the elevators,” Go said.
Police investigation showed that Udto was loading goods into the cargo elevator from the fourth floor of E-Mall along Leon Kilat Street in Cebu City, when its cables snapped.
Udto’s body was pinned on the elevator door.
He was brought to the St. Vincent Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician, Cristobal said.
Udto reportedly died of “cervical contortion.” His body had yet to be subjected to autopsy.
A lawyer of the mall, who asked not to be named, said they were thoroughly investigating the accident.
“To be clear, the cargo elevator isn’t owned by the mall. It is owned by Gan Go Trading (a tenant of the establishment),” he said in a phone interview.
The mall official requested anonymity due to the ongoing investigation.
“For now, on behalf of the company, we can’t issue an official statement yet. We still have a pending investigation on the matter. It was not an incident that happened everyday. We need to conduct a thorough investigation,” he said.
The official said the mall management has decided to shoulder the burial fees of the victim as well as the salary he could have received for two years. SFM
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