A metal beam plunged 42 storeys yesterday afternoon hitting a car on Preah Monivong Boulevard in Boeng Keng Kang district, prompting Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng to temporarily shutter the construction site of Gold Tower 42.
No one was hurt in the incident and Mr Sreng visited the construction site shortly after the beam fell.
“We went down to temporarily shut down this construction site because we have already told them a few times before,” he said, referring to two previous incidents involving falling debris at the construction site located at the intersection of Monivong and Sihanouk boulevards.
“If they were permitted by the Land Management Ministry, we will later decide whether construction can resume or not,” Mr Sreng added. “As for the damage to the car, we have already ordered police officers to prepare documents.”
A few months ago, a piece of rebar fell from the tower and sliced through the hood of a Lexus SUV.
Gold Tower is 200-metres tall, built on a 129,300 square metre plot of land. It is a multi-purpose commercial building set to house a shopping mall, offices and condominiums.
The project began in 2008 and has already been delayed three times: first in 2009, following the global financial crisis, and again in 2012. Construction resumed in 2013 and then stopped again in 2017.
Liu Nianxin, CEO of Hongtao Decoration, a company involved in the construction of Gold Tower 42, could not be reached for comment yesterday. However, in January he said construction will finish early next year.
First Lieutenant Tith Sophanha, a commune police officer, said the beam was part of a construction elevator and the car it damaged was a Mercedes.
“It fell down 42 storeys and hit the rear glass of the Mercedes,” he said. “No one was injured during the incident.”
He noted similar incidents happened in the past.
“High-level officials advised them a few times, but it still happened,” he said, noting that the Mercedes was brought into the construction site and the owner of the building settled compensation with the owner of the car.
Yin Choeun, a security guard, said he was guarding the construction site when he heard the beam falling on the car.
“I think it was very lucky because the beam did not hit anyone on the road,” Mr Choeun said. “If someone was hit, he would likely die because the beam fell from the top of the building.”
He said he was almost killed during a previous incident when a piece of steel fell from the building.
“At the time, I was shocked,” Mr Choeun said. “I think a construction manager was careless at work.”