Work stopped after 3 die in airport construction accident

Taipei, The Ministry of Labor (MOL) has ordered the suspension of work at a construction site at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport after three workers were killed in a mudslide there on Tuesday.

Aside from suspending work at the site, the ministry will also fine the general contractor NT$300,000 (US$9,762) for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

At the same time, the subcontractor that was actually doing the work where the accident occurred will be referred to prosecutors for further investigation into its alleged failure to take the necessary safety measures, the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

The three workers were trapped under piles of mud while working on water pipes at an airport taxiway, Taoyuan firefighters said.

After the accident, Yu Yi-chun (???), the head of the Labor Ministry's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, visited the site and concluded that the lack of retaining walls may led to the mudslide, the statement said.

Based on MOL statistics, the site had already had several problems. In 14 inspections of the work site conducted by the MOL since 2016, it issued fines six times totaling NT$1.11 million and ordered work suspended three times.

Meanwhile, Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (???) extended his condolences and presented consolation money to the families of the victims during a visit to the construction site Wednesday.

The ministry is also working with Taoyuan authorities to create an employee and family assistance program that will make counseling services available to the family members of the three workers, the statement said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel