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Dubai crane collapse: Workers in custody

Dubai Police suspends work at luxury hotel site pending triple death investigation outcome

Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News
A crane collapsed on Saturday at a construction site inDowntown Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Following a fatal crane collapse in Downtown Dubai, engineers, foremen and others in charge at a consultant and engineering company are in police custody, according to police.

Authorities, meanwhile, are attempting to piece together the cause of the incident, in which three workers were killed and five injured on Saturday afternoon.

The senior managers were taken into custody for questioning, police said.

Colonel Ali Ganem, Director of Bur Dubai Police Station, said on Monday that a preliminary police investigation suggested that the crane elevator — used to lift construction materials — was not fastened securely in the right position, which may have led to it collapsing on the workers who were standing under the crane.

A formal cause of the collapse has not been made yet by investigators, said police.

Colonel Ganem told Gulf News that senior managers on the project have serious questions to answer while work has been suspended on the site pending further on-site investigations.

Colonel Ganem said the incident took place between 6.30pm and 7pm on Saturday leading to the workplace deaths of three Asian workers and severe to moderate injuries for five other workers.

Colonel Ganem said police patrols, emergency and ambulance had rushed to the scene, evacuating the site and tending to the casualties.

The injured workers were transferred to Rashid Hospital, where some are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Gulf News originally reported that a survivor of the fatal construction crane collapse in Downtown Dubai said the crane’s ladder had snapped, sending a worker crashing down.

The survivor, an Asian worker who did not wish to be named, told Gulf News that “the ladder of the crane malfunctioned and broke. The worker on top fell to the level I was working at — five metres above the ground — breaking my right leg. I was operated on [in hospital] at 1am on Sunday.”

Police said the crane operator may have “lost control”.

Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, director of Dubai Police’s Criminal Investigations Department, said earlier that the operator was taken in to custody and faces possible charges of criminal negligence.

The mangled remains of the crane were clearly visible on Sunday, slanted against the scaffolding and unfinished floors of the construction site. There were no obvious signs of extensive damage to the under-construction property, being developed by a major Dubai real estate company.

Gulf News sources allege that a mechanical malfunction involving the ladder of the tower crane is being investigated as the cause. However, this could not be independently confirmed.