Rescuers help a victim from the 7th floor of a building under construction yesterday in Manila. Authorities are investigating the reasons that led to the elevator being overloaded. Image Credit: AP

Manila: An overloaded lift could have been the likely cause of the noontime tragedy that cost the life of ten workers yesterday.

A temporary elevator at a building construction site in the Philippines' capital plunged 25 floors yesterday, killing 10 workers, officials said.

Reports said that the service elevator or "gondola" used by the workers can only accommodate five to six workers but for still unknown reasons the lift was carrying 11 workers when disaster struck.

The gondola was taking workers to the 32nd floor of the 40-storey Eton Towers in suburban Makati City's Central Business District when one of the cables — balancing the elevator on an even keel — collapsed.

The collapsed structure caused the elevator to crash from the 32nd level to the 7th floor.

Possible lapse

The workers were installing glass panelling on the façade of the Eton Towers when the mishap occurred just past 12pm, according to the authorities.

According to Eton spokesperson Erwin de Pedro, authorities are trying to look into possible lapses that led to the overloading of the elevator.

De Pedro, in a statement, said workers had taken the gondola instead of the stairs when going down the still under construction Eton Tower.

This caused the service elevator to be overloaded.

De Pedro said: "Eton, its contractors and construction management consultant are cooperating with police authorities and the city engineer's office as they investigate the cause of this accident.

"In the meantime, the company's priority is to ensure that the victims' families are informed and extended needed assistance by the contractor."

Stalled

According to a report by ABS-CBN News, Mayor Jun-Jun Binay had ordered the construction of the Eton Tower halted as a result of the tragedy. Binay said that unless that the building contractor can assure the safety of the workers, all construction activities are halted.

The crash had caused immediate death from traumatic injuries to three workers while some of the fatalities expired while undergoing emergency treatment at the nearby Ospital ng Makati and Makati Medical Centre hospitals.