10 charged with man­slaugh­ter over Taichung MRT

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Ten peo­ple were ac­cused of cut­ting cor­ners on a Mass Rapid Tran­sit project in Taichung and were in­dicted on man­slaugh­ter charges Wed­nes­day, two months af­ter an ac­ci­dent on the con­struc­tion site re­sulted in four deaths and four in­juries.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred on April 10, when a mas­sive steel girder fell from a height of about three sto­ries onto a busy road, killing a ve­hi­cle driver and three con­struc­tion work­ers.

The Taichung Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice said the ac­ci­dent oc­curred be­cause a num­ber of con­trac­tors on the project had em­ployed cost-cut­ting meth­ods and failed to put safety mea­sures in place when a crane was lift­ing the 209-met­ric ton steel girder.

The 10 peo­ple charged with man­slaugh­ter are en­gi­neers, man­agers and on-site su­per­vi­sors from a num­ber of com­pa­nies in­volved in the project, in­clud­ing China Steel Struc­ture Co., a down­stream con­trac­tor of Far Eastern Gen­eral Con­trac­tor that made the steel girder; a crane rental com­pany; and two other con­struc­tion con­trac­tors.

In ad­di­tion, the con­trac­tors had also ig­nored safety guide­lines that stip­u­lated steel gird­ers should only be raised in the pe­riod 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. with strict traf­fic con­trol mea­sures in place, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

The Taichung City gov­ern­ment said that it re­spects the pros­e­cu­tors’ de­ci­sion and wants the project, which was suspended af­ter the ac­ci­dent, to re­sume as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The rul­ing vin­di­cates the Taichung City gov­ern­ment,” said Wang Yi-chuan, direc­tor-gen­eral of Taichung’s Trans­porta­tion Bureau.

Taipei’s Rapid Tran­sit Depart­ment, which is man­ag­ing the project, had come un­der fire ear­lier for say­ing that the safety guide­lines did not pro­hibit the hoist­ing of steel gird­ers dur­ing the day­time.

Wang said that he hopes to es­tab­lish bet­ter safety mea­sures, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Taipei Rapid Tran­sit Depart­ment, and com­plete the project with­out fur­ther in­ci­dent.

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