Worker, 68, killed as concrete slab breaks loose at building

31 Aug 2017 Ferado

A 68-year-old construction worker died on Tuesday after he was hit by a large concrete slab that broke loose from a building in Cheung Sha Wan.

The fatal accident took place at about 10:30 am at a work site located in an alley outside Lai Sun Commercial Centre, Apple Daily reports.

The dead worker, who bears the surname Zhu, is said to have moved to Hong Kong with his wife from mainland China four years ago.

According to a co-worker, Zhu was hired three months ago to join a team that was tasked with installing glass windows and aluminum plates for a building adjacent to the Lai Sun Commercial Centre.

As he and his teammates were doing their job on the 30-year-old building on Tuesday, a concrete slab measuring about 3×4 square feet suddenly fell from the outer wall of the Lai Sun Commercial Centre and hit Zhu right in the head.

Zhu was wearing a helmet at that time, but the impact was so severe that it knocked him unconscious.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene sent him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead later.

A 46-year-old manager of the Lai Sun Commercial Centrewas arrested by the crime squad of Sham Shui Po district for failing to prevent an object to fall from a height.

The Buildings Department undertook an inspection and ruled that there were no structural risks in the building.

However, it issued an investigation order to the property owner as multiple slabs on the outer wall were found loose.

A spokesperson from Lai Sun Group said the developer was deeply saddened by tragic accident.

The group will offer compensation to the dead man’s family, he said, adding that the company will also launch full inspections on the entire building.

According to the spokesperson, the slab may have broken loose due to the impact of the two powerful storms that hit Hong Kong in the past week.

Chow Luen-kiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union, was quoted by as saying that Zhu’s family can expect to get HK$200,000 in compensation from the casualty insurance policy that union had bought for him.

The Construction Charity Fund will offer HK$100,000 to Zhu’s family for its urgent needs.

Zhu’s co-workers also immediately raised HK$2,000 and gave the money to his family.

According to Chow, the incorporated owners of the parking lot of the building should be held most responsible for the accident.

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