February 26, 2014 00:00 By THIRAPON KHUMSUK THE NATION
A CONCRETE structure at a medical institute's construction site partially collapsed in Samut Prakan's Bang Phli district yesterday, killing 10 labourers and injuring 16 others.
Search operations involving sniffer dogs were continuing as of press time in a bid to locate survivors who may be trapped under the concrete.
At the time of the accident, some 30 workers were having their lunch under a structure that was designed as an elevated corridor linking two buildings. The concrete slab forming the base of structure was about 20 metres wide and 15 metres long.
“The slab broke in the middle after something from an elevator zone fell and crashed onto it,” said Bang Phli district chief Wiwat Chantanurak.
Some of those killed were workers from Cambodia and Myanmar, with one of them as young as 15.
The construction work is part of the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital’s Bt10-billion mega-project.
Under the project, the Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute will be established as a key state-run hospital for patients in Samut Prakan and nearby eastern provinces. The project also includes a new campus for the famous medical school.
The Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, which is part of Mahidol University, promised to provide remedial action and compensation to the victims and their families, and to take steps to prevent a recurrence of such an accident.
“The management of the faculty is deeply saddened,” it said in its latest statement.
Six victims died at the scene, while four others succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.
According to the statement, cement works from an elevator shaft subsided for an unknown reason, causing the accident.
Italian-Thai Development, a listed company, is in charge of the construction, while ACSE 110 Consortium is the construction supervisor.
“We will investigate the cause of the accident,” the hospital said.
Samut Prakan Governor Kanit Eamrahong declared the construction site a danger zone, and only those authorised to do so are now allowed to enter the area. “Officials are investigating the blueprints,” he said.
The Labour Protection and Welfare Department is looking into the matter, to ensure remedial action and compensation for affected workers and their families.