Hong Kong building authorities have initiated prosecutions against four contractors and four individuals over a tower crane collapse at a construction site that left three men dead and six injured one year ago.
The Buildings Department on Wednesday said Kwun Tong Court had issued summonses and the hearing would be held on January 30 next year.
The rare accident took place on September 7 last year at a Housing Society building site on Anderson Road in Sau Mau Ping.
The 65-tonne tower crane collapsed suddenly, crashing down on nearby containers used as temporary offices on the site, resulting in the death of three workers – an electrician, an engineer and an engineering assistant – and injuries to six others.
Officials at the time said the base of the tower crane had “obvious faults”.
Subsequent investigations by the Labour Department found the tower crane had been installed on a grillage foundation made of three layers of metal I-beams fabricated by welding.
The welded joint between the I-beams on the top of the foundation connected to the base of the tower crane and the second layer of I-beams was found torn off, resulting in the collapse.
A Buildings Department investigation, meanwhile, also found that welded joints between segments of the steel supporting frame were torn off, resulting in the collapse of the entire crane.
In a statement on Wednesday, the department said a total of nine prosecutions had been initiated against the four relevant contractors, subcontractors and four individuals under the Buildings Ordinance.
Under the ordinance, any person directly concerned with any inspection, site formation works, or other form of building works who has carried out such inspection or works in a manner that causes injury to any person shall be guilty of an offence.
On conviction, offenders are liable to three years in jail and a maximum fine of HK$1 million.
Siu Sin-man, chief executive of the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims, which is supporting the families of the killed workers, said she was pleased with the Buildings Department’s action.
“At least, it shows that the government is taking it seriously this time. In the past, we seldom saw action by other government departments except for the Labour Department,” she said.
“The message is clear that the government is attaching much importance to worksite safety. To the families, the focus now is to ensure justice is served.”
In March, the Labour Department initiated a total of 67 prosecutions against seven contractors and subcontractors and four individuals under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance.
The trial is continuing.
We are sorry that this article was not useful for you!
Let us improve this article!
Tell us how we can improve this article?