x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Five men jailed in Dubai for causing colleague's crane crash death

Five men have been found guilty of causing death of a worker killed by a falling crane

DUBAI // Five men blamed for the death of a co-worker crushed by a falling crane were yesterday each fined Dh2,000 and jailed for three months.

They were also ordered by the Misdemeanours Court to jointly pay Dh200,000 in blood money to the family of the dead man.

M?M, a 32-year-old Bangladeshi, was directing the crane operator at the Jumeirah Pearl Island construction site on December 25 last year when he heard the wires supporting the crane arm snap.

Panicking, he ran into the path of the falling arm, which hit him directly on the head.

Five men were arrested: the crane operator J?S, a 31-year-old Indian; the site supervisor A?T, a 37-year-old Syrian; W?S, a 48-year-old Syrian engineer; H?A, the 28-year-old head of security, from India; and the project manager J?G, 66, from Canada.

The men were charged with mistakenly causing the death of the worker by failing to follow safety regulations and neglecting maintenance of the crane. They were released on bail a few days later.

All five denied the charge when they appeared in court.

The site supervisor said the crane had been checked by mechanics.

“The crane was working properly at another site in Deira, then it was dismantled and shifted to Jumeirah Pearl Island, where it was reconstructed and checked before being put to work,” he said.

But prosecutors said that municipality rules required a certificate to be issued following the erection of a crane to certify it was safe for use. A report by the municipality said that no such certificate had been issued.

“I was told by the manager there was such [a] certificate,” said the supervisor.
He said he always warned workers against standing under the arm of the crane.

The project manager also pleaded not guilty, saying his role was purely administrative and that he did not work on the site.

He said obtaining the safety certificate from the municipality was the responsibility of the engineer.
“It was [W?S] who directed the crane,” said the project manager.

He added that had he known the certificate had not been issued, he would have stopped work.

The engineer disputed his claims, saying it was the project manager who told him to erect the crane and begin work.

A postmortem report said the dead man’s head had been crushed and he had suffered multiple fractures in his right leg, shoulders and elsewhere.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.

salamir@thenational.ae