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The Backhoe Accident

r. Adriano “Andring” Ocariza, SVD who came back from Brazil last year and is now working in a Parish in Mabuhay, Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay (Prelature of Ipil) had met a very shocking accident. Last March 11, he and his driver went to Ipil (mainland) to renew the registration of his motorcycle. At noon time they accomplished said renewal and so they went back straight in order to catch up the barge at 4:30 pm going back to his parish in the island. They were the last passengers to board the barge so they have to look for a place where they could relax during the 15 minutes trip crossing to the island. Surprisingly the barge was full of passengers, different kind of vehicles including a heavy equipment, a backhoe. According to a report, normally, when a backhoe is being transported through a barge, the arm which carries the blade of the backhoe is lowered down and then locked for safety reasons. Unfortunately, during that trip the arm of the backhoe was up in order to save space and accommodate more vehicles; and so the blade was left hanging.

Since the trip going to the island was very short, Fr. Andring just stood beside a jeepney and a motorcycle. When the barge was just starting to depart, the blade of the backhoe fell on the top of the jeepney and then bounced hitting Fr. Andring at the back of his hip. Since the blade of the backhoe is so heavy, Fr. Andring was thrown towards the motorcycle with the blade at his back, lower part of his body. After that accident, Fr. Andring was rushed to the nearest hospital which is in Alicia. And from there he was brought to the hospital in Zamboanga. The Superiors in Cebu gave instructions that our men in Ipil should find ways of how Fr. Andring could be transported to Cebu the soonest. A commercial plane was not able to accomodate Fr. Andring in their trip. So the only means of bringing Fr. Andring to Cebu was through a commercial boat in the evening.

The Bishop of Ipil, Msgr. Joy Tonnel, visited Fr. Andring in the Hospital in Zamboanga. When he learned that we wanted to transport Fr. Andring to Cebu, he tried to negotiate with the Airforce in Zamboanga if they have a plane which could bring Fr. Andring to Cebu. Unfortunately at that moment there was no Airforce plane in Zamboanga. Then Fr. Andring’s brother here in Cebu who has good connection with the Airforce in Cebu tried to negotiate for assistance. The brother succeeded because an Airforce plane in Jolo was going to Manila and so that plane was given instruction to pass by Zamboanga in order to pick up Fr. Andring. So that was a very great help in bringing Fr. Andring to Cebu. Upon arrival he was brought to Perpetual Succour Hospital where he was attended so well. He underwent 11 x-rays and the findings were: Fr. Andring suffered multiple fractures – both arms and legs, hip and ribs.

Fr. Andring escaped the teeth of the Anacondas and Crocodiles in the Amazon (Brazil), unfortunately he failed to escape the teeth of the “Philippine Backhoe”; nevertheless he survived. When he was already in the emergency room in Perpetual Succour Hospital, Fr. Andring said that he thought that was the end of his life. So we can say that “that was a miracle!”. We need more miracles that Fr. Andring will fully recuperate the soonest. We are then asking for your prayers. Prayer is the best remedy for everything!

PHS Communications