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Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge

Report into fatal accident at Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge finished

Highways Department says findings have been passed on to police

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2017, 10:08am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2017, 11:34pm

A team assembled to look into the accident on the multibillion-dollar Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge which killed two workers and injured three others has finished its investigation and passed the findings to the Labour Department and police.

The task force, under the Highways Department, submitted a report to the director of highways on Friday, a department spokesman said on Monday.

He said the report would not be released, lest it affected possible criminal proceedings.

On March 29, the workers at the bridge had been hooked to a temporary working platform with harnesses, underneath a viaduct off Tai O, Lantau Island. When that platform suddenly collapsed into the sea, they were pulled down with it.

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Contractor Dragages-China Harbour-VSL Joint Venture has been accused of breaking safety rules by letting the workers hook their harnesses to a floating platform instead of something more secure.

The Highways Department said it had referred the report to the relevant law enforcement agencies.

A police source said officers from the New Territories South regional crime unit had stepped in to find out if there had been any crimes shortly after the accident. They will report to the coroner.

The department said its director had evaluated the performances of the contractor and consultant involved in their quarterly reports, with regards to safety and compliance with contractual requirements.

It said it would require them to improve safety measures, including replacing staff who fail safety standards.

The department added that the government would take appropriate action once the final findings were in, possibly including suspending the companies concerned from tendering for public works.

Meanwhile the Labour Department said it would try to find out if there were any security issues in the working arrangements or errors in work procedures.

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In total, 10 workers have died and more than 600 have been injured in 275 incidents since work began on the bridge in 2011.

The bridge – which links Hong Kong to neighbouring special administrative region Macau and Zhuhai, in Guangdong province – has so far cost HK$117 billion, after repeated budget overruns.