September 8, 2022
HONG KONG – A tower crane collapsed at a construction site at Kowloon’s Sau Mau Ping on Wednesday, killing three and injuring six others.
The case has been classified as an industrial accident and the Labour Department has launched an investigation into the incident.
The 65-tonne crane came down on top of several containers that served as makeshift offices at a Housing Society construction site on Anderson Road at 10:49 am.
Five workers were inside the containers and were trapped as the crane collapsed. After firefighters freed them, one was pronounced dead at the scene. Another worker who suffered bone fractures due to the impact of the crane fall on the containers was certified dead at the United Christian Hospital later, according to local media.
We are going to look into all the records and certificates issued and signed by recognised persons, so this will form part and parcel of our investigation into this very serious fatal industrial accident.
Chris Sun, Secretar for Labour and Welfare, HKSAR
A third worker who remained trapped under the crane for hours was pulled shortly after 6 pm and was later declared dead, RTHK reported.
The victims – aged between 22 and 41 – were an engineer, an engineer assistant and an electrician, the report said quoting the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims.
Of the six injured, two were in serious condition in hospital and four suffered minor injuries, according to the RTHK report.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu expressed concern at the fatal accident and extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and wished a speedy recovery of the injured.
After inspecting the construction site, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun told reporters that he is saddened by the workers’ deaths and injuries, and expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased and injured.
There is a specific regulation crafted to regulate the safety of tower cranes and that the department will identify the cause of the accident, he said, adding: “We are going to look into all the records and certificates issued and signed by recognised persons, so this will form part and parcel of our investigation into this very serious fatal industrial accident.”
The Labour Department has issued suspension notices to the contractors concerned suspending the erection, alteration, dismantling and use of tower cranes on the sites.
“The notice will be enforced until proof is given to the department that they are safe to operate again, so there is no time limit to the suspension notice. It all depends on the site operator (proving the safety) to us, so that we are satisfied that these cranes can operate again,” he said.
The investigation will be completed as soon as possible, the department said, adding that it will take action pursuant to the law if there is any violation of the work safety legislation.
The Housing Society said it will provide a lump sum of HK$300,000 to the family of each deceased worker, while the family of each injured worker will be offered HK$100,000, the RTHK report said.