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President offers assistance after Taichung construction accident

President offers assistance after Taichung construction accident

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???) on Friday asked the Executive Yuan to offer necessary assistance to the Taichung City government following a deadly accident that killed four people at a transportation construction site. Three construction workers and a female driver were crushed to death when a massive steel girder at a construction site of the Taichung Mass Rapid Transit system collapsed to the ground during rush hour Friday, according to the Taichung government. Four others were injured when the 43-meter-long, 209-metric ton steel girder fell from a height of about three stories onto busy roads, the city government said. Of the four people injured, one was in critical condition, said Deputy Mayor Chang Kuang-yao (???). An initial investigation has found that negligence in hoisting the girder onto the MRT system's support pillars may have caused the accident. According to rescuers, the crane used to hoist the girder had a maximum capacity of only 200 metric tons and may not have been able to handle the girder's weight, but subcontractors responsible for work at the site declined to confirm that.
The base of the crane was also found to have provided inadequate support, rescuers said, which may have led to an uneven distribution of the load and caused the crane to become unstable during its operation. The Labor Ministry has ordered a suspension of all construction work at the road section after a probe, saying that the subcontractor should be responsible for the negligence. Ministry official Chu Ching-lung (???) meanwhile said it was very inappropriate for the workers to carry out the project during rush hour. On Jan. 12, newly elected Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (???) demanded that the Taichung MRT Green Line, which was the line being worked on when the accident occurred, be completed two years ahead of schedule for a trial run in 2018. Lin also reduced fences totaling 1,420 meters in hopes of giving citizens better road access. Lin said at the time that the new plan had gone through a thorough evaluation and was feasible, adding that the schedule could even be moved up another six months if things went smoothly. Taichung Deputy Mayor Lin Ling-san (???) however denied accusations that the accident is a result of hasty construction work. As to questions over the lack of fences on the site, Lin said the measure is aimed at providing easier access for the cranes. Mayor Lin was in South Korea at the time of the accident, and has decided to cut short his stay there and return home around midnight. The elevated Green Line, which runs from Wuri to Beitun, is designed to be a 16.7-kilometer line with 18 stations. It starts at Songzhu Road in Beitun District in northeastern Taichung and follows Wenxin and Wenxin South Roads before veering off to its terminus at the high-speed rail station in Wuri southwest of the Taichung downtown area. Lin became mayor of the city late last year after handily defeating former Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (???). (By Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-26 23:27 GMT+08:00