Aid worker dies as Tacloban airport scaffolding crashes
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2015 - 12:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – An aid worker who attended the mass celebrated by Pope Francis here was killed as strong winds sent a steel scaffolding crashing down on her, a church spokesman said.

Palo Archdiocese spokesperson Fr. Amadeo Alvero confirmed that aid worker Kristel May Padasas, 27, suffered fatal head injuries.

Padasas was pinned by the scaffolding holding the speaker when it collapsed.

Philippine Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said  Padasas was a volunteer of the Catholic Relief Services, an international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, which also has an office in the Philippines.

Public Works and Highways Region 8 director Rolando Asis earlier said the stage where the pope held mass here could not withstand strong gusts from a powerful storm.

The pope celebrated mass amid heavy rain near the airport, but was forced to fly back to Manila four hours earlier as Tropical Storm Amang approached Eastern Visayas.

Alvero said the pope’s mass attracted a crowd of about 200,000 people.

Food packs

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said 500,000 food packs are on standby in Tacloban City for pilgrims and those who gathered at the Palo Cathedral who may be stranded due to rains brought by Amang.

“We are ready to provide more… we can help them with food relief,” Soliman said in a press briefing at the Social Welfare and Development Center for Asia and the Pacific compound at Fort Bonifacio, in Taguig.

 “Many people in Eastern Visayas are in Tacloban. But we are ready for any contingency. We have ready-to-eat food packs ready,” she said, adding that these can be distributed any time. –  With Rainier Allan Ronda, Sheila Crisostomo

       

 

AMADEO ALVERO ASIA AND THE PACIFIC CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES EASTERN VISAYAS FORT BONIFACIO GWENDOLYN PANG KRISTEL MAY PADASAS PADASAS PALO ARCHDIOCESE
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