3 dead, 70 injured at Dubai's Expo 2020 construction site: Report

  • The numbers came to light after the European Parliament criticised the United Arab Emirates' human rights record and "inhumane" practices towards immigrant labourers and called for a boycott of the six-month-long world fair.
A logo of the Dubai Expo 2020 is pictured during the opening ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Representational image) (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
A logo of the Dubai Expo 2020 is pictured during the opening ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Representational image) (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
Published on Oct 03, 2021 11:57 AM IST
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Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Sohini Goswami

At least three workers died and over 70 were seriously injured while working at the Dubai's Expo 2020 site, officials said while insisting that safety standards were "world-class".

According to news agency AP, this is the first time that the Dubai Expo is revealing statistics for worker fatalities during the construction of the massive world’s fair.

Initially, the organisers said five workers had been killed but later issued another statement describing the previous figure as a "mistake".

The numbers came to light after the European Parliament criticised the United Arab Emirates' human rights record and "inhumane" practices towards immigrant labourers and called for a boycott of the six-month-long world fair.

"Unfortunately, there have been three work-related fatalities, 72 serious injuries to date," an Expo statement said, adding the welfare of labourers was its "top priority".

"We have established world-class policies, standards and processes that protect and support the health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone involved in Expo 2020 Dubai," the statement said.

It further said 247 million work hours had been completed at the site and the frequency of accidents was lower than Britain's.

According to an AFP report, over 2,00,000 workers were involved in the construction of the huge site on the outskirts of Dubai. The site features hundreds of pavilions and other facilities on a showground twice the size of Monaco.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who visited Expo on Saturday, said France was "not part of" the European Parliament's resolution.

"Our relation with the UAE is a strategic one, it's very close, and we can say things in all transparency and if we need to say something to the UAE government, well we do so but behind closed doors," he told reporters.

The event has drawn widespread criticism from human rights activists over poor treatment of the low-paid migrant laborers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who keep the UAE's economy booming.

(with inputs from AFP, AP)

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021