Worker's death due to crane design flaw?
DEATH: A Chinese worker, Mr Liu Debao, fell 19 storeys to his death after being struck by a prefabricated structure hanging from a crane at a Sengkang construction site in January last year.
A construction worker was standing on the 19th storey of an unfinished Sengkang HDB block when a 7,660kg prefabricated structure carried by a tower crane crashed into him.
Chinese national Liu Debao, 40, was initially pinned against the wire mesh barricades at the side of the unfinished building at Fernvale Street.
Then the barricades gave way and Mr Liu, who was from Shandong, fell to his death.
His colleague, who was operating the crane, claimed to have barely moved the controller joystick when the accident happened on Jan 23 last year.
But the crane had swung at its maximum speed, said Ministry of Manpower (MOM) investigation officer Larry Wong yesterday in an inquiry into Mr Liu's death at the State Courts.
Initially, human error was suspected to be the cause of the accident as a check on the crane soon after the incident did not uncover any disconnected wires or damage, said Mr Wong.
But further investigation by MOM revealed that a possible design flaw of the tower crane was the most probable cause, which is possibly inherent in the 13 other such cranes used here.