Five people died and five others were seriously injured on Wednesday when a crawler crane overturned in Poipet city, in north west Cambodia, on the border with Thailand.
The crane, an aging Link-Belt reportedly owned by a local rental company, was rigged with around 40 metres of boom, and was lifting four metre square concrete panels at the time. According to the operator, Tuth Livin, 20, the wind picked up with strong gusts catching the load, which was at a height of around 20 metres, while one of the crane’s tracks began to sink into the waterlogged ground causing the crane to overturn. The concrete panel came down onto two homes occupied by the deceased. The developer on the project was named as The Park City Company with the crane rented in.
The operator was later arrested and held for questioning at a military police office. He apparently also stated that some steel parts or components were missing from the boom assembly.
The police identified the deceased as Chhean Hong, 49, Chao Ly, 50, Yeay Loek Srey, 66, Seng Muykea, 57 and Doem Srey Nak, 36 – all women. While five others were seriously injured.
A trade union leader publicly expressed concern over the safety of construction in Cambodia, following several recent incidents, stating that the authorities should step up safety inspections.