10 plunge 25 floors to death at Manila work site

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

The workers were installing glass windows at a high-rise condominium when a platform elevator gave way, sending them tumbling down from the 32nd to the seventh floor, said Mayor Junjun Binay of Makati city, Manila's financial district.

Police and rescue officials said 10 workers were killed. One worker was in critical condition, but it was not immediately clear how many were on the platform, Binay said.

In a statement, building owner Eton Properties Philippines, Inc. said the workers were employees of its glass contractor and were on a break at the time of the accident. The workers took the platform to go up the 39-story building "instead of taking the stairs," the statement said.

"However, since the platform can only carry a few workers, the cable snapped," it said, adding that the company has ordered a review of the safety regulations of its subcontractors and construction management.

The company's website describes Eton as the global real estate arm of the Lucio Tan Group and a sister company of the Philippine National Bank and Philippine Airlines.

Binay ordered construction at the site halted.

The Philippines, particularly Manila, has been experiencing a construction boom since last year, driven by low interest rates, the large number of foreign remittances from 9 million Filipinos working abroad and the need for more office space to accommodate the country's growing outsourcing industry.