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Sat 27 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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Drilling reason for scaffolding collapse

A company official said that vibrations from drilling works near the Al Nahda site caused the scaffolding to fall

An Indian worker died and two Bangladeshis were seriously injured when the scaffolding they were standing on collapsed at a construction site in Al Nahda in Sharjah earlier this week.

Speaking to
Construction Week

, Ali Gadalla, executive manager for Beijing Emirates Group, the company building the residential complex, said: "The accident occurred at about 10am on Monday 22 January and the reason for the collapse is probably due to vibrations caused by digging that a company has been carrying out in order to lay cables for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)."

Gadalla added that earlier this month, the company received a notice from DEWA asking it to relocate all on-site labour accommodation, project name boards and other materials from the approved cable-corridor, but mentioned nothing about removing the scaffolding.

He said that the company was still finalising compensation details, but that all workers affected by the accident would be compensated.

"We will compensate the dead worker's family with about US $54,452 (AED200,000) and will also compensate the injured workers.

"They are our workers and we do care about them. We have strict safety conditions and this accident is not our fault. The two Bangladeshi workers were saved only because they were wearing their safety harnesses, so that is proof enough that we do follow safety procedures."

DEWA was unavailable for comment but a foreman in the DEWA office confirmed that cabling works near the building were in progress.

The accident came just days after two tragedies - the Fortune Tower fire that claimed the lives of two workers and injured around 25 on 18 January, and the other involved the collapse of an underground car park roof in Dubai Silicon Oasis that killed one and injured three.

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