Contractor in pay deal over sewer deaths

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 August, 2006, 12:00am

The contractor involved in the sewer accident on Tuesday which left two drainage workers dead will pay wages to the deceased's families until they receive compensation and the wages will not be deducted from the compensation.

Shun Yuen Construction Company made the promise in a meeting yesterday with the Drainage Services Department and the families of Wong Keung and Cheung Shue-hung, who died after apparently working in a fume-filled manhole without proper safety gear.

Shun Yuen will also pay funeral expenses.

Ng Chung-wai, a member of the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims, who helped the families in the negotiation, said it was an exceptional move.

He said it normally took up to a year of arbitration and administrative procedures before families obtained compensation, and Shun Yuen's arrangement had certainly helped ease the financial burden.

Shun Yuen chief executive Chan Kam-hong said the families were satisfied with the offer, but he hoped the Labour Department would hasten compensation.

Compensation arbitration is normally handled by the Labour Department if insurance companies do not challenge entitlement.

The Drainage Services Department expects a full accident report by next week.