A 63-year-old worker was buried alive by a landslide yesterday while working at a construction site on the Formosa Freeway (National Freeway No. 3), the second deadly landslide to hit the freeway within a week.
The incident came exactly a week after a massive landslide on the Cidu (七堵) section of the freeway near Keelung covered all six lanes, killing four motorists.
The man was identified as Su Kuo-liang (蘇國良), a contract worker on the freeway’s seismic retrofitting project. The incident occurred just before 10am yesterday morning. It took about 40 minutes for firemen to dig Su out and rush him to En Chu Kong Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
The National Freeway Bureau said that Su was working on a project to widen the section of freeway between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Yingge (鶯歌) Interchange on National Freeway No. 3.
The bureau instructed the contractor to immediately stop all work and said it would assist Su’s family with funeral arrangements.
It added that the accident happened when the dirt-guard on the slopes collapsed as workers expanded the bases of bridge piers.
The bureau said it would investigate the cause of the incident.
The Council of Labor Affairs also dispatched representatives to investigate after discovering that Su received retirement payments from labor insurance.
The company that hired Su was also found to have not paid labor insurance, choosing instead to purchase work insurance from a private insurance firm.