By Benjamin Cuaresma

MANILA — A chain reaction akin to falling dominoes resulted in the simultaneous collapse of eight (8) utility poles of Manila Electric Company (Meralco), leading to a collision involving eight (8) vehicles and injuries to three (3) individuals.

The incident occurred along Quintin Paredes and Ongpin Streets in Binondo, Manila, at around 1 PM on Thursday, August 3, 2023.

Officials from the Manila Police District (MPD) have identified the injured parties as follows: Joffer Dolatre, 32, a resident of Binondo; John Michael Tigoy, 21, hailing from Caloocan City; and Beverly Balledo, 25, from Navotas City. Despite suffering cuts and bruises, all victims have received initial medical attention and are reported to be in stable condition.

The toppling poles caused extensive damage, impacting five (5) cars, two (2) motorcycles, an E-Bike, and a nearby bicycle that had been parked in the vicinity.

Surveillance footage from the area revealed that the collapse of one pole, with its interconnected wires, triggered a cascading effect, resulting in the downfall of the seven (7) other poles.

In response, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga stated that Meralco is actively collaborating with authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, particularly the simultaneous collapse of five (5) Meralco and three (3) Telcos posts.

Crews from Meralco have been dispatched to the scene to secure and restore the fallen power lines, which obstructed the streets. The Manila Traffic Bureau is also aiding motorists by implementing rerouting measures in the affected area.

Images captured in the aftermath of the fallen poles along Quintin Paredes and Ongpin Street are prominently featured here, underscoring the disruptive nature of the incident. (ai/mnm)