Worker impaled in deadly accident at highway site

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 April, 2011, 12:00am

A construction worker died and two of his colleagues were injured - one critically - at a road-widening site operated by the Highways Department on a hillside in Tuen Mun yesterday.

Last night, one of the injured, Fung Fuk-hei, 46, was fighting for his life in hospital after a two-metre steel pole pierced his body as he fell from a platform. The pole was later removed during four hours of surgery.

Debris caused by Fung's fall hit two bar benders - Hung Wai-biu, 46, and another, unnamed worker, 47 - who were working under the platform. Hung died after being hit on the head.

The Highways Department has ordered its contractors to halt construction work. The Labour Department is investigating the cause of the accident.

Fung was working on a platform on the hillside site near Yau Kom Tau on Tuen Mun Road when the panel he was standing on collapsed. He fell down the slope at about 10.45am. He was impaled by an upright steel bar and was still conscious when firemen arrived to free him in an operation that took about 20 minutes.

'The 40mm-wide bar went through his abdomen and exited in the neck. He was still conscious when we arrived at the scene,' said Tsuen Wan fire station commander Wong Yuk-hing.

A two-metre section of the bar was still attached to Fung's body when he was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital. 'The metal bar was too long and had to be cut shorter before surgery was carried out,' a spokeswoman for Hospital Authority said.

After the four-hour opeartion, Fung was admitted into the hospital's intensive care unit in a critical condition.

Hung fell into coma after being hit on the head and the other worker was hit on the left shoulder and back, according to Wong.

They were treated at the scene before being taken to Yan Chai Hospital. Hung was declared dead at 12.26pm. The other worker was in a stable condition.

Hung is survived by his wife and three children.

The widening of the New Territories-bound Tuen Mun Road is part of a HK$2.8 billion project which involves the reconstruction and realignment of the eastern section of Tuen Mun Road between Tsuen Wan and Tsing Lung Tau. The project began in 2008 is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

Chan Kam-hong, chief executive of the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims, said they had contacted Hung's family and offered counselling support.

'We appeal to employers to do risk assessment at workplaces and offer safe working conditions to their employees,' Chan said.

In the first three months of this year, three workers were killed in three industrial accidents at construction sites around Hong Kong. Nine people were killed in such industrial accidents in the whole of last year.

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