Final count is five dead and 17 hurt

Construction Week sees company log

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By  Eudore Chand Published  October 9, 2004

Construction Week can confirm that the death toll of the accident at Dubai International Airpport Terminal 3 expansion is five. There is no truth in the rumours circulating in Dubai that eight or more are dead. Construction Week can also confirm that the number of injured in the accident is greater than that reported so far: 17 not 12. These counts come from an actual sighting of the records and from the doctor attending the injured. All the injured were released from the hospitals by the end of September and were back at their camp in Sonapur. The injured were taken to Al Baraha and Rashid hospitals in Dubai following the accident. It was still not clear what caused the 20 m high steel reinforcement mesh to collapse onto the workers on the morning of 27th September 2004. Some workers at the site say that the hook of a mobile crane accidentally got caught in the mesh and pulled a section down; others say that the beams supporting the reinforcement wall gave way because of the weight. Another possible cause being voiced is that the ground may have been unevenly soft because of water seepage. A design consultant commenting on the picture of the accident site said that it appears to show re-bar in place ready for casting along a big span and large height. The weight of these bars may not have been supported between the scaffolding and the wall on the other side. Another expert said that the conventional steel fixing seems to have been supported insufficiently and may have toppled. Tie ropes either side could possibly have prevented the accident. However, both said that they could be wrong and that it would be up to the qualified investigators to examine the site and interview the survivors to find the true cause of the tragic accident. The Dubai Department of Civil Aviation has ordered a full inquiry into the cause of the accident. The DCA is overseeing the US $4.1 billion expansion and upgrade of the Dubai International Airport. The main contractor is Al Naboodah Laing O’Rourke, and the project design consultant for Terminal 3, where the accident occurred, is Aeroports de Paris International, which operates the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Five people were killed and several were trapped under rubble when a section of the roof of a terminal had collapsed at the Charles de Gaulle Airport on 23rd May 2004. Laing O’Rourke is also building Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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