Freak accident kills Bicolana volunteer during Pope Francis visit in Tacloban

Freak accident kills Bicolana volunteer during Pope Francis visit in Tacloban

TACLOBAN CITY, Jan. 18 — The lone fatality during the short Papal visit of Pope Francis in Tacloban City turns out to be from Bicol. The victim was mentioned by the Pope in the just concluded Youth gathering at the sports field of the University of Sto. Tomas. A one minute silence and prayer was dedicated to her and family.

The female pilgrim died at the Tacloban Daniel Z. Romualdez airport after the Holy Mass of Pope Francis Saturday morning.

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The freak accident happened when a huge speaker at the back of the stage where Pope Francis held the mass fell into 27 year old Kristele Padasas from Bicol. She was assigned in Eastern Samar after typhoon “Yolanda” by the Catholic Relief Service where she worked as volunteer.

The victim’s co-workers who were with her during the accident refused to divulge the details to the media.

Since Friday night, rains have been pouring in Tacloban and strong wind was experienced before and after the mass.

Dr. Puresa Trinidad Onate, the medical director of makeshift hospital Perpetual Succor and leader of the medical team for Pope Francis’ visit, said that the victim suffered head and neck injury that resulted in massive blood loss.

Onate said the victim was not responsive anymore when brought to their mobile hospital. She said they did cardio-respiratory service but Padasas was later declared dead by their medical staff.

The medical team first decided to transport the victim’s body to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center for its proper documentation but later decided to bring it to St. Peter’s Funeral Home.

Social communication director of the Archdiocese of Palo Fr. Amadeo Alvero said that the Archbishop and the church felt sorry for what had happened and asked for everyone to pray for her soul.

Alvero said that the church will do their best to help the family of the victim but as to what extent, it will depend on the instruction of Archbishop John Du.

“God will always have a reason why it happened to the victim,” said Father Alvero.(from PNA story by Roel T. Amazona)

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