x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Investigation begins into Sharjah car park collapse

A committee investigating the collapse of a Dh86 million building, in which six people were injured, will deliver a report within two weeks.

Bystanders view damaged lorries and the broken beams of the car park that collapsed while workers were on a a break.
Bystanders view damaged lorries and the broken beams of the car park that collapsed while workers were on a a break.

SHARJAH // The committee investigating Sunday's collapse of a Dh86 million building, in which six people were injured, met yesterday and will deliver a report within two weeks. The two-storey car park, originally designed to be nine floors high, fell just after more than 100 workers had left the structure for their lunch break.

Municipal officials had inspected the site earlier in the day and found no abnormalities, allowing work to continue. The committee, consisting of representatives of Sharjah Municipality and its police and civil defence departments, discussed a number of factors they thought could have been responsible for the accident, said a member of the group who asked not to be identified. Those included the steel and cement used in pouring the concrete on the day the building collapsed.

Concerns were expressed that several companies may be using low-quality materials or cutting down on specifications because of financial constraints, he said. The Bharath Tower Foundation, the contractor for the building, has yet to comment on the matter. Mustafa Mohammed, an inspecator for Sharjah Municipality Civil Engineers, urged authorities to pass a stricter set of safety rules, such as reviewing designs before construction begins and mandating the use of approved materials.

"In construction of big buildings a lot of attention has to be paid to concrete pouring as this is the most sensitive and dangerous part of construction," Mr Mohammed said. "Workers should also be protected and given protective materials while pouring the concrete. Several deadly accidents have been witnessed at this stage, like you remember that Ajman hotel collapse." The Laguna Beach Hotel in Ajman fell in June of last year, killing six workers.

Two workers from Sunday's collapse who suffered minor leg injuries have been released and the rest were improving, said a Kuwait hospital worker. Those still under treatment had leg fractures as well as head and chest injuries, he said. None of the injured were available for comment. @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae