Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Kaohsiung MRT site accident kills Thai worker

STAFF WRITER

One Thai worker was killed and another injured in an accident at a construction site for Kaohsiung's mass rapid transit (MRT) project yesterday, police said

The two workers fell from an elevated track 10m above the ground in Chiaotou Township, Kaohsiung County when they were installing a steel mold, according to police.

The injured man, 38, was reported in stable condition.

The Council of Labor Affairs has ordered that work at the construction site be suspended for a safety inspection.

Yesterday's accident was the latest to the Kaohsiung MRT project following a series of construction mishap that hit the project earlier this year.

In May, an accident occurred after drilling which resulted in a surge of water and sand to rise toward the surface. As a result, the Yancheng MRT station and surrounding structures sank 20cm, leading to the evacuation of more than 100 people from nearby buildings.

In August, another mishap at the construction site for Shitzuwan Station on the MRT's Orange Line affected an area of 500m2 and led to the evacuation of at least 24 residents from nearby homes.

The accident then caused four three-story buildings to sink precipitously which led Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to order that all of the buildings be torn down.

The frequent accidents have prompted doubts over the ability of the Kaohsiung City Government's Mass Rapid Transit bureau and the contractor for the MRT project, Dashin Engineering, to minimize construction risks.

The Kaohsiung City Government and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications are providing NT$150.9 billion out of the total NT$181.3 billion required for the project while construction companies including local firm Dashin Engineering and the Japan-based Shimizu Construction Co are jointly investing NT$30.4 billion.

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