Rides in this “perya” folded up almost as instantly as it was set up in the last week of December after three kids fell of its Ferris wheel at the Clark Freeport.
PHOTO BY DING CERVANTES
CLARK FREEPORT – A “perya” accident that saw three children fall from a Ferris wheel here last Dec. 29 has become the talk of the town as more details surfaced from a probe by the stateowned Clark Development Corp. (CDC) Even amid a crowd, the three children lay bloodied on the ground for at least an hour after their 20-foot fall before help came, the CDC’s Public Safety Department (PSD) reported yesterday.
Two of the children, sisters Ralphine Jayriz and Ralphone Shandel, both surnamed Lingat, remained in serious condition at the Angeles University Foundation Hospital, while their friend Tagjay Macam was released from the hospital but was still slated to undergo a series of medical tests, the PSD said.
The CDC, which had issued the permit for the operation of the temporary amusement park in this freeport, said it would provide “maximum assistance” to the families of the victims, even as it told the operators of the temporary amusement park to face their responsibilities.
“The CDC is committed to help the family of the victims. Every form of assistance that can be allowed by law will be extended,”said CDC Public Affairs Department Manager Sonny Lopez. Lopez said that CDC President-CEO Arthur Tugade even tasked senior executives of the state firm to visit the victims daily at the hospital to make sure the needs of the family were met. He said that the Lingat family received an initial P100,000 from the permittee of the park.
While the PSD report did not identify those given permit to operate the park, it named the owners of the Ferris wheel as Ofelia Ortega and Eduardo Pascual Villafuerte who reportedly vanished after the accident.
The PSD quoted three witnesses saying that the three children were allowed to share one Ferris wheel cubicle designed only for two passengers. It said one of the witnesses “saw the cubicle where the kids were seated to overturn, causing them to fall approximately 20 feet to the ground.”
The three witnesses also testified that “no personnel from the Ferris wheel management had bothered to help the three young kids lying on the ground for almost an hour” despite the plea for help from Rizza Lingat, mother of the two victims still in serious condition.
The report did not say who was the first to help. The PSD said that doctors reported that the condition of the two LIngat sisters had improved although they remained at the hospital intensive care unit (ICU) yesterday.
Ralphone Shandel underwent surgery and was still being closely monitored by doctors because of the condition of her lungs. Tagjay, the third victim, was allowed to go home but would still undergo a battery of tests.