Six feared dead after cement-pouring accident

Six construction workers were yesterday missing presumed dead and a seventh seriously injured after a cement-pouring accident at an under-construction hotel in Ajman. Officials said the first floor of the 20-storey Laguna Beach Hotel, on Ajman Corniche, collapsed into the basement just after 3am yesterday.

Police said the pouring concrete caused steel supports to give way, trapping workers who were attempting to shore up the supports.

As the concrete began to harden, rescue workers began to use small hammers to break through to help find the missing people.

Police sources confirmed six workers were reported that missing and one construction worker was injured in the accident.

Ahmad Abdul Razzaq, Assistant Director General of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department for Engineering Affairs, said the recovery work would continue as long as was needed.

He said: "Part of the poured cement collapsed as the steel supporters shook and fell. This happened before completing the cement pouring operation of the basement's ceiling, according to the statement of the supervisors who were attending at the site." He added that during cement-pouring, the municipality's engineers had checked the steel used and amounts and they were in accordance with the required amounts and specifications, he said.

"Preliminary investigations revealed that as the steel support shook, some workers went underneath in an attempt to fix them. But, instead, the supports collapsed. We will be able to know what exactly has happened during the next 48 hours," he said.

The construction company and the hotel operator were not available for comment yesterday.

 

Royal grief

His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, UAE Supreme Council member and Ruler of Ajman, yesterday inspected the accident site at the Laguna Beach Hotel on the Ajman Corniche. Sheikh Humaid expressed grief at the incident and gave instructions to teams to speed up the rescue operation.

Rescue teams from Ajman and Dubai Civil Defence are trying to break through the concrete spill which caused the collapse and is hardening.

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