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3 Dead, More Missing in Dorm Collapse

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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Rescue operations continued Tuesday as the investigation began in the deadly collapse of a six-story student housing complex that gave way during a concrete pour.

The U-Place complex collapsed in seconds about 4:40 p.m. Monday (Aug. 11) in the Pathum Thani district north of Bangkok, trapping more than 30 construction workers, officials said.

On Tuesday (Aug. 12) afternoon, three workers were confirmed dead; 19 had been rescued, with most hospitalized for injuries; and the search continued for about 14 others who were believed to be still trapped.

YouTube / Dam Thamarit

A six-story student dorm under construction disappears in a cloud of dust and debris in Thailand, trapping dozens of construction workers. Witnesses said the collapse happened during a concrete pour on the roof.

The deceased included a worker who perished about 9.45 a.m. Tuesday while medical officials were trying to stabilize and reach him under the rubble. The officials were planning to amputate his legs, which were pinned under a beam, the Bangkok Post reported.

Another worker was rescued when news cameras caught an image of his right arm emerging from under tons of rubble and signaling for help.

Rescue Effort

The Ministry of Public Health deployed six rescue teams of specialists and emergency doctors to try to save the victims, Dr. Narong Sahamethapat, permanent secretary, told news media. The provincial governor asked the military and authorities to supply machinery to remove rubble in the search for survivors.

The building was to have been a dorm for a vocational college.

With the investigation into the collapse barely underway, Suchatchawee Suwansawad, director of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, told the Bangkok Post after inspecting the site that he suspected the structure's design and materials.

Bangkok collapse
Twitter / @AsCorrespondent

The dorm had been under construction for four months and collapsed in just seconds. One building expert said, "I see that this incident should not have happened."

The construction process may not have met required standards, Suwansawad added.

'This Incident Should Not Have Happened'

“I’m saddened by the building collapse, and I see that this incident should not have happened,” he told the news outlet.

“People are not allowed to enter buildings that are under construction.”

Construction had been underway for four months, and workers were pouring concrete on the roof when the structure gave way, witnesses said.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Building materials; Commercial Construction; Design; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice

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