Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Good Earth Plaza Fire

Mall fire disrupts LRT

Update: I received a text from one of the DVD maninindas this morning. "Kuya dun kmi li2pat odeon mall kz nasunog ang g0odearth.." The DVD retailers will be moving to Odeon Mall (formerly Odeon Theater) near LRT2 Recto Station. I was informed that it would take around one week to set-up their stalls at Odeon Mall.

Philippine Star - Tuesday, August 5The big blaze that hit a shopping mall in Sta. Cruz, Manila near the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 station disrupted rail line operations yesterday, causing inconvenience for thousands of passengers and revenue loss anew for the LRT Authority (LRTA).

The fire of still undetermined origin razed the eight-story Good Earth Emporium building, which housed the Robinson's Supermarket and the Paradiso Hotel located at the corner of Bustos street and Rizal Avenue.

The building, now owned by Colony Investors Inc., was built in the '60s and was once a famous landmark in the Sta. Cruz district. It had undergone several renovations, but old-timers still refers to it as the Good Earth building.

The fire, which reached the fifth alarm, started at the ground floor at around 5:22 a.m.

Melquiades "Mel" Robles, LRTA administrator, said they were forced to bypass the Carriedo station in the middle of LRT Line 1's morning operations at 9 a.m. when thick black smoke billowing from the burning mall made the loading and unloading of passengers impossible at the said station.

Robles said that the situation worsened at around 10:30 a.m., forcing them to implement "half-line" operations at the rail line.

The implementation had LRT operating only at the southern end of the line running from the Baclaran station in ParaƱaque to the Central station in Manila and back. The Monumento to Carriedo line was closed.

"In times like this, the safety of our passengers, as well as rolling stock - our trains - is of paramount consideration," Robles said.

As of 1 p.m., Robles estimated the revenue loss for the rail line disruption to be at P.7 million.

"We expect it to go higher since it seems that the fire will not be controlled any time soon," he said.

The rail line also suffered revenue losses when a fire hit the Puregold shopping mall near the LRT Line 1 Libertad station in Pasay City last July 17.

Robles called on the owners of buildings and establishments near LRT stations, to look into their electrical wirings and other potential fire hazards to avoid such incidents.

"We urge them to attend to fire prevention measures in their respective establishments so we can avoid such unfortunate incidents. It is also for their own good," Robles said. - Rainier Allan Ronda With Nestor Etolle/Philstar

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