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January 2, 2013

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5 confirmed dead after collapse at building site

FIVE workers have been confirmed dead and 17 others were injured after a concrete platform under construction collapsed in Shanghai's Pudong New Area on Monday night, the city government said yesterday.

More than 30 people were working at the site of a five-story parking lot and train maintenance depot for the under construction Metro Line 12 in Pudong's Jinqiao area when the accident happened at around 9pm.

A number of workers were buried under falling scaffolding when the platform collapsed, according to one worker who escaped with minor injuries.

Thousands of metal poles were scattered across a 500 square meter area of Jinhui Road and a crane was also seen falling on the building, according to witnesses.

More than 100 firefighters clambered over the poles in a search for buried workers while ambulances took the injured to nearby Shuguang Hospital.

"My father agreed to have dinner with me and spend the New Year's Eve together after work," a 25-year-old woman surnamed Lu told reporters at the scene.

She was calling out and screaming her father's name. But rescuers later found his body in the debris.

Four others died in hospital, the government said after rescue work ended yesterday.

Of the injured, one suffered spinal injuries and was in a serious condition. The others were stable, said Zhu Meiping, a doctor at the hospital.

Most of the injuries were bone fractures while some suffered eye damage from spilling concrete, Zhu said.

The family member of a worker who died collapsed at the scene and was also taken to hospital.

The cause of the collapse is not yet known and an investigation team led by Vice Mayor Shen Jun and the city's work safety watchdog has begun looking into the accident.

The No. 2 Shanghai Construction Group said yesterday that building work would be halted for three days for a safety inspection.

The site is close to the terminus of Line 12, which is expected to be in operation by 2014 from the city's northeast to its southwest, with 30-plus stations and 40 kilometers of track.


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