Two construction workers were crushed to death when a 10-metre-high steel cage they were working in collapsed yesterday, prompting the government to open talks with the construction industry on 'worrying' safety issues. Ten workers have died in accidents at construction sites this year, compared to nine in all of last year. Barbenders Ng Yan-wing, 46, and Fu Po-yee, 49, were inside the two-metre-diameter structure at a Kwai Chung building site when it collapsed at around noon, crushing them under dozens of steel bars weighing about 180kg each. 'The situation is worrying,' said a spokeswoman for the Labour Department, which plans to hold talks with the construction industry on how to improve site safety. Relatives of the workers said the construction company had not explained details of the accident. It had made ex gratia payments of just HK$50,000 per family. 'The company just gives out HK$50,000 without saying any thing to us. How can we sustain our living?' said Ng's wife. 'I still have to raise a 12-year-old daughter. What can I do?' After the collapse, co-workers used a crane to lift the bars in an attempt to free the pair, the Fire Services Department said. One of the men, semi-conscious with multiple injuries, had been freed by the time five fire engines and two ambulances arrived at the site, in Kwok Shui Road. The other victim was unconscious under several unstable steel bars, with a bundle of bars hanging over him from a crane. 'We found 10 logs, pieces of concrete and our tools to secure the unstable bars,' Lei Muk Shue fire station officer Glenn Da Silva said. 'Five to six firefighters lifted the bars before other colleagues scrambled into a space and pulled the worker out.' Ng and Fu were taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, where they were pronounced dead. Chow Luen-kit, chairman of the Construction Industry Employees General Union, questioned whether a full risk assessment had been carried out. The Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims said the department should release the results of investigations into fatal accidents. Association chief executive Chan Kam-hong said the department should also enhance inspections at construction sites. The Labour Department said occupational safety officers visited the scene of yesterday's accident to investigate. The spokeswoman said the employer was required by law to submit a report detailing the incident within seven days. Because of the increasing number of fatal accidents this year, the department has stepped up inspections and carried out surprise checks.