x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Death crane firm may lose licence

A maintenance company whose workers were involved in a fatal accident may have its licence suspended, officials said.

DUBAI // A maintenance company not authorised to carry out repair work during which two men were killed and another man seriously injured may have its licence suspended.

The Dubai Municipality said initial investigations revealed that the company had carried out repair work at the camp in Al Quoz Industrial Area 2 on June 8 without acquiring municipality permits. Officials did not reveal the name of the company.

"We might suspend the company's licence," said Marwan Al Mohammed, the head of the engineering supervision section at the municipality's buildings department. "We would go to any level to stop this kind of accidents. We are sending our reports to the buildings inspection department."

The accident happened as the men were doing repairs on a crown-shaped decoration made of concrete on the roof with the help of a cradle.

The victims were observing how the maintenance workers were hanging the cradle when it collapsed.

The falling decoration killed the two men instantly. Police arrested four maintenance workers from the company in connection with the deaths of the two men. One of the victims was a Nepali security guard who worked at a labour accommodation nearby.

"They fixed the cradle the wrong way and it was not in a safe position. When they tried to lift it, the roof collapsed," Mr Al Mohammed said.

The municipality will make a final decision either to suspend the licence or impose a large fine after a full investigation has been completed.

Yesterday, the Pakistani driver who suffered serious injuries to his spine, legs and hands was still unconscious at Rashid Hospital. He has undergone surgery three times in the past 10 days, said a relative.

"Doctors have operated on his back bone, right hand and left leg," said Bilal Mustapha, cousin of Mohammed Yaqoob, 41, a driver for Prime Technologies LLC. "His right leg will also be operated on. He has been unconscious since the accident."

Mr Yaqoob, who lives in the same accommodation, had been called by the maintenance company to move his mini lorry, which was parked outside the camp. The roof collapsed after he removed the vehicle and was standing with the security guard.

Mr Mustapha said he had gone to the camp when he received a call from Mr Yaqoob's company, informing him that his cousin may have been involved in an accident.

"I saw a pair of shoes at the site and immediately recognised they were his. I rushed to the hospital in search of him," he said.

Mr Yaqoob's wife and four children, who live in a village near Sialkot city in Pakistan, have not been given complete details of his injuries.

"I have told his wife that he has minor injuries and that where he has been admitted, there is no phone nearby. They believe this because they are from a small village. His father is very old and we don't want to tell them how serious he is," he said.

Mr Mustapha said he believed his cousin had been given a second lease of life.

"If his head had been injured, he could have died on the spot like the other two. God has given him a second life," he said, But he added they were worried he would not walk again.

"Doctors say he is out of danger, but we are scared what he will do as he has been given only a 40 per cent chance of walking again," Mr Mustapha said.

Rashid Hospital confirmed that Mr Yaqoob was in intensive care, and that his condition was still "critical". An official said he had undergone surgery on Wednesday but declined to give further details.

A spokesman for Prime Technologies LLC had previously said the company would pay for his treatment and pay compensation, if any, in concurrence with the Ministry of Labour.