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25.10.2006 Disaster

Chinese Engineer Killed In Demolition

By Graphic
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A Chinese building engineer, Mr Hez Hong Fa, met his untimely death when a building whose demolition he was supervising collapsed on him and a labourer. The labourer, Alex Kyekyeku, 28, was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital in a critical condition.

It took a team of personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service and Ghana Police Service and some of the workers at the site, which is located close to the M-Plaza Hotel in North Ridge, Accra, about three hours to remove the deceased from the debris.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the labourers who survived the accident said they worked for Delta Construction Firm, which is currently working at GT Radial, a company located close to Mallam Junction, and that they were brought in last Friday to demolish the old structure to make way for a new hotel.

According to him, last Friday, they were asked by the deceased to remove the roofing, ceiling, windows and doors after which they started the demolishing. The labourer said Mr Fa asked them to create cracks in the walls from beneath to make the demolition easier and quicker.

“He wanted us to finish the work within a day so that we would be paid only a daily wage of ¢20,000 but even when we do the less dangerous work it would take us more than a day, which he thought was expensive,” he alleged.

He said upon realising the danger involved in using that method, especially when they were not wearing any protective gear, they complained to one other Chinese engineer around, who intervened and asked them to demolish it from top down.

“Unfortunately, when we came in today, the other engineer who intervened was not around, so Mr Fa put us into various groups and ordered us to create cracks at the base of the walls and when the walls were weak, we pushed them down,” the labourer explained.

He said that it was during the creation of the cracks that one of the walls became weak and started falling towards their direction and upon seeing that, they all fled leaving Kyekyeku and Fa.

He said the wall fell on the lower party of Kyekyeku, who was rescued but the major part of the wall landed on Mr Fa.
When the Daily Graphic got to the scene at about 11 a.m., the team was feverishly removing the debris to retrieve the body.

According to the police at the scene, the body had been deposited at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, while investigations continue.

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