x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

More people fall to their deaths from high-rise buildings in Ajman

Ajman's government hospital has treated 15 cases of people falling from high-rise buildings in the past four months.

AJMAN // An absence of safety in homes and worksites, as well as preventable suicides are causing an increasing number of deaths and serious injuries from falls off high buildings in Ajman, officials say.

The emirate's only government hospital, Sheikh Khalifa, has treated 15 cases of people - including children - falling from high-rise buildings in the past four months, officials said.

Dr Abdul Karim Al Halimi, director of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital's emergency department, said: "Workers falling from construction sites are the most common cases. Almost every month we have a case or two of these workers."

He said there were lax safety measures at many sites and he asked for the authorities to have regular inspection campaigns.

"Another common case now is of children falling from their home flats," he said. "Besides the Ramadan child fall behind GMC Hospital in Nuaimiya, we earlier had another case of two Yemeni children who fell from their home. One died instantly and the other was treated and recovered here."

About a week ago, a pregnant Emirati woman fell from the eighth floor of a hotel and suffered serious injuries, including a miscarriage. And last week, a four-year-old boy fell from his apartment in Dubai, and his mother plunged to her death minutes later.

Hamad Turaym Al Shamsi, the Ajman Health Zone director and director of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital, called for a study on causes of high-rise falls in the area.

"The unfortunate fate of children falling from their homes can be solved by more awareness safety campaigns on families staying in high-rise buildings," he said. "Children in these buildings were falling from either windows or verandas, and these are the main areas to watch for their safety."

Families should not leave children unattended and windows should always be kept closed, said Brig Ali Alwan, the director general of Ajman police.

"As for the suicide cases, religious leaders need to help us here create awareness in prayers, urging people not to take their own life," he said. "Life is a trust from God and no one has a right to take it, even if it's his or her own."

A spokesman for the Ajman municipality and planning directorate said all buildings in the emirate had been inspected by professional engineers and architects, and all their plans met safety requirements.

"No investigations in any fall have had issues with the buildings structure," he said. "It's most important now to create awareness among residents on their safety."

Some residents, like Emirati Hassan Al Mulla, 40, said that because high-rise buildings were alien to many of the cultures that have settled in the country, some people did not know how to live in them safely.

"The economic boom here has given way for all types of skyscrapers, some very new to the people staying in them," he said. "Expats from Europe or America, where skyscrapers have been common for a number of years, are less likely to fall from their apartments."

 

ykakande@thenational.ae