The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 12:57cat

Thai Building Collapse Kills at Least 11

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Rescue workers search for survivors Rescue workers search for survivors SUTTHIWIT CHAYUTVORAKEN

At least 11 workers died on Tuesday when a large concrete beam collapsed at a hospital construction site in Samut Prakan province in Thailand around 11:30 a.m. local time. Seven of the workers died at the scene and the other four died shortly after arriving at a local hospital. The accident also injured 18 other workers, some of whom are in critical condition. Rescue workers used sniffing dogs and heavy equipment to search through the rubble in order to help any survivors and find bodies that were buried. Rescue workers are confident that they have now found all 40 people who were at the job site when the beam collapsed.

The beam that collapsed was meant to connect two buildings under construction at the Ramathibodi Hospital's Chakri Naruebodindra medical center just outside of Bangkok. The four-story public hospital is currently undergoing an expansion project to provide more living space for medical students. Human rights groups often criticize Thailand’s poor worker safety records. Almost 5 percent of the country’s workforce is comprised of migrant workers from nearby Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. These workers normally lack adequate training, and they also receive lower wages than Thailand’s $9.20 minimum wage per day. Thailand has a long history of building collapses and the number of incidents has increased over the past few years as Thailand’s property market has soared. Unlike many other countries, Thailand does not have a building code. Instead, they have building regulations that are enforced by several different ministries. Many people feel that the building regulations are adequate and the majority of constructions accidents can be attributed to untrained workers practicing unsafe methods. 

Sources: Bangkok PostReuters

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