Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Sad End

The number of deaths from a collapse of a subway construction site in Hangzhou is now eight. Thirteen are still missing and 24 are injured.

The accident happened on Saturday afternoon when the section of road above the subway construction site caved in and it is believed 50 people in total were underground.

What made it worse is that the construction site is near a lake, and water seeped into the crater where the victims are.

It is considered the worst subway construction accident in the country.

Senior government officials have ordered rescuers to do all they can to save those still underground, but rescue crews explained steel girders and columns had to be removed first before they could dig underground, delaying the chances of finding more people alive after the 72-hour critical period.

Chinese media says investigations are underway to find out the cause of the accident, but in the meantime other subway projects in Hangzhou were suspended to make sure they were safe.

They also say that many of the workers were actually farmers from Anhui Province, who had received little training in construction.

While China is madly digging underground as a solution to public transit, it's not a simple task. Feasibility studies should be done, especially risk assessments.

It will be revealed sooner or later whether these were done properly and punishments will be meted out.

In the meantime, for migrant workers to lose their lives on the job while trying to better their families' income is a sad statement about cheap labour in China. It also shows the country's blind ambition to build without safety in mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we have heard too many news reports of his type specially in developing countries .pity the poor farmers. the engineers need to be questioned.