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Tuesday, Sep 28, 2004

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5 killed, 12 injured in accident at Dubai Airport worksite

Vimala Vasan

Abu Dhabi , Sept. 27

Five workers died and 12 sustained injuries in a major wall collapse at the worksite of the Dubai Airport Terminal 3 expansion project on Monday morning. Dubai Civil Aviation authorities said in a statement made available to Business Line that around 10.45 a.m., during the construction of a wall, a section of the reinforcement cage fell, trapping workers at the airport worksite. Emergency personnel responded immediately and rushed to the site.

Twelve workers were rescued and sent to Rashid and Baraha hospitals with injuries, while five died in the incident. This is the first major incident to ever occur at Dubai International Airport during construction, the authorities said. They maintained that the normal operations at the airport have not been disrupted due to the accident.

Ms Lavina Dixit Chatterjee, Senior Officer, Public Relations, Dubai Civil Aviation, told this paper that the injuries ofthe rescued workers were not grievous. She said there could be a possibility that Indians may be among the casualties, but details of the break-up of the nationality of the injured and the dead are yet to be obtained and would be disclosed by the department later.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group, commented: "It is a tragic situation for all of us at the Department of Civil Aviation. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased workers. We will conduct a full investigation into the accident. We have an extremely strict and most professionally controlled quality assurance and quality control systems in place here. We have three independent safety bodies — one controlled by the contractor, one by the consultant and one by the DCA. We would like to reinforce the fact that safety of all our people working at Dubai International Airport is the top most priority."

The work at Terminal 3 comes under the second phase of the Dubai airport expansion programme.

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