A scaffold collapsed at a construction site in central Vietnam late Wednesday, killing over a dozen workers and injuring several others. The incident occurred at a site run by Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (FHS), and two of the dead workers are still reportedly trapped in the rubble, according to reports.
So far, 14 people have been declared dead in the accident, in which more than 30 workers were also reportedly hurt. Rescue operations are underway at the site in Ha Tinh province while the injured, many of whom were in a critical condition, were rushed to a nearby hospital. The accident occurred in the Vung Ang economic zone, Reuters reported. Samsung C&T, a subsidiary of Samsung, is one of the investors in the construction project, and all the workers injured or killed in the accident were Vietnamese, reports said.
"A tunnel below the scaffold structure has hindered rescue work," Nguyen Huy Tang, from the border guard, said, according to Thanh Nien News, a local newspaper, adding: "All available resources have been mobilized to rescue around other 100 workers trapped under the rubble."
The scaffold shook twice, causing many to panic, and several workers rushed to an elevator at the site, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Dinh Ninh Dan, a worker at the site.
"After 10 more minutes, the scaffolding which was about 20 meters (65 feet) high, suddenly collapsed. I quickly grabbed an iron bar but fell free," Dan, who was at Ky Anh General Hospital, told AP. "People were screaming, calling for help from the rubble," he said, adding: "I was very lucky to survive."
There were over 40 workers present at the location when the structure collapsed. Of the 19 people being treated at the hospital, according to a doctor at Ha Tinh General Hospital, 15 were being treated for serious injuries, AP reported.
“At the construction site, there were thousands of workers, so the number of workers in distress is not yet accurately calculated,” Pham Tran De, deputy head of the zone’s management board, told VnExpress, according to Reuters.