Girders overturn, killing 7

09:26, November 29, 2010      

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Workers on Saturday clear up the site of a construction accident in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, in which seven were killed when steel box girders for a bridge toppled over. [Photo/For China Daily]

Steel box girders being used to build an overpass on a bridge overturned on Friday night, killing seven workers and injuring another three in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province.

A member of the investigation team blamed the accident on bad construction and poor site management.

The seven victims were working 10 meters above the ground on the steel box girders for the bridge, which was still under construction, when the accident took place at about 8:30 pm on Friday, the local government said.

They fell to their deaths when the girders toppled. The three injured workers were in a shed under the bridge when they were hit by falling cement blocks.

Following the accident, the city government quickly organized a five-member investigation team, which said on Saturday that proper procedures had not been followed in the construction process and that there was no onsite management of the project.

The Nanjing housing and urban and rural development commission issued an urgent notice that same day, requesting all construction sites in the city to carry out comprehensive investigations to assess safety hazards and avoid similar accidents.

The construction workers who died in the accident were all from the Jiangsu branch of China Railway 24th Bureau Group.

Five of them were from East China's Shandong province, one was from Anhui province and the other came from a third province, said a government official, surnamed Wang.

"We have contacted the seven workers' families and they are rushing to Nanjing," Yangtze Evening News quoted him as having said.

The three injured workers are in stable condition in hospital. Two of them received head injuries, while the third suffered an ankle fracture, said Yang Jun, a doctor at the BenQ Medical Center.

The bridge was due to be completed on Dec 5, local media reported.

Yangtze Evening News quoted an unnamed expert as saying that the steel box girders had not secured before the workers stepped onto them.

The local government said the investigation will inquire whether the project had been illegally sub-contracted.

Another construction worker who witnessed the accident said all the dead had worked under a construction boss surnamed Ma for more than 10 hours a day at a rate of 70 yuan ($10.5) per day in wages, according to a report in Modern Express.

Safety incidents frequently occur during construction projects due to lax management and poorly trained workers.

On Friday, eight people were charged with negligence in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, in connection with the fatal collapse of a subway tunnel in which 21 people died on Nov 15, 2008.

Prosecutors concluded that the eight, including the engineer, management staff, and project quality supervisors, had not taken adequate safety measures for the construction of the tunnel at the planned Xianghu Station.

Source: China Daily


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