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Six Indian workers killed in Dubai mishap

The incident occurred when a crane hit the bridge under construction near the Dubai Marina seafront locality, marked by highrise residential, commercial buildings.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2007 11:40 IST

Six Indian workers, including four from Tamil Nadu, were killed when a bridge under construction in the Dubai Marina area collapsed. The other two were from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. One Pakistani was also among those killed.

The incident occurred on Thursday evening when a crane hit the bridge under construction on Sufooh Road, near Jumeirah Marina Mall in Dubai, an area marked by high-rise residential and commercial buildings. Authorities blamed a crane operator for the mishap in which 24 workers were also injured.

The killed were identified as R Mohan Laxmanan, A Govindam, Mathai Laghan and K Thangan (all Tamil Nadu), Surender Singh from Patna and P Jagdish from Lucknow, an official of the Indian consulate here told IANS.

He added that since the bodies were in the police mortuary, details about the deceased were yet to be confirmed.

The 24 injured were admitted to the Rashid Hospital in Dubai. All the workers were employees of the Dubai-based Wade Adams Contracting Company.

"It's a respectable local company and it has promised compensation to the families of all those deceased," the Indian mission official said on Friday.

Asked about the compensation amount, he said, "It depends upon the company's rules and the laws here. The amount can range from 35,000 to 50,000 dirhams (Rs.372,941-532,772)."

In a statement, Dubai chief of police Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tameim, describing the cause of the incident, said: "The fault is two-fold: the (crane) driver's miscalculation of the height of the steel columns, and a lack of site supervision.

"My tentative assumption is that the bridge collapsed because a crane driver had tried to lift a 1.5-tonne load of steel onto the bridge. The load, however, hit against the bridge columns causing it (the bridge) to collapse."

Stating that workers were present within the columns under construction, the police chief said: "This is a breach of safety practices which dictate that the site be cleared of workers before such a load is brought down."

According to local television reports, around 40 Indian workers were on the bridge when the incident occurred.

Reports here quoted witnesses as saying that they saw at least three bodies being pulled out and taken away in police vehicles.

Meanwhile, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has expressed its sorrow at the incident.

While expressing his condolences to the families of the victims, Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of RTA, said: "This is a human fault for which the contractor bears full responsibility".

He added that RTA had set up a committee comprising representatives from RTA, Dubai Police and the Public Prosecutor's Office to investigate the incident and identify its causes, Emirates news agency WAM reported.

"Such an incident could happen in invariably any country. However, accidents in RTA projects are generally rare," he said, stressing that RTA applied stringent safety measures and its consultants and contractors were obliged to adhere to safety rules and procedures to avoid accidents.

This Gulf metropolis of 1.4 million people is witnessing a construction boom with many of the workers coming from the Indian subcontinent.