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Construction suspended after crane collapse in Sihanoukville

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
The crane collapsed while workers were preparing to take it down. Swift News

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall has suspended further construction of a ten-storey building in Sihanoukville’s Buon commune after the crane used to raise it collapsed while being dismantled by workers.

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Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said the building is owned by a Chinese national, noting the collapse occurred as workers attempted to dismantle the crane.

“It fell because of a technical issue,” Mr Phearum said. “The damage to the building was small and no one was injured during the collapse.”

“After the crane fell, authorities suspended construction pending an official review by experts,” he added. “They will review whether the building was licensed or met technical standards.”

“We ordered all workers to leave the building,” Mr Phearum noted.

There are many construction sites in Buon commune following an increase in Chinese investment into the province.

A villager who declined to be named said residents who live in the area are worried about tall cranes being used at construction sites.

“I ask that officials review all construction sites strictly to see whether the equipment being used meets technical standards,” the villager said.

Seng Loth, spokesman for the Land Management Ministry, declined to comment yesterday, while Cheng Srong, director of the provincial land management department, could not be reached for comment.

Sok Kin, president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, yesterday said the government created a committee to review and evaluate all construction sites in the Kingdom, but it has failed to ensure safety.

“If the authorities continue to allow construction companies to construct buildings whenever they want, that’s a danger for our people,” Mr Kin said. “Talking about enforcing the law is not the same as implementing the law. There are many dangers in the construction sector and accidents can happen at any time.”

In July, a seven-storey building under construction in Sihanoukville collapsed, killing 28 workers.

The collapse prompted the government to form the Committee for the Inspection of the Quality of Buildings in Preah Sihanouk province.

In August, Provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun ordered authorities to demolish 14 recently-constructed buildings in Sihanoukville after they were deemed unsafe during a meeting with the committee.

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