26 October 2016
Officials inspect the buoy that exploded. Photo: RTHK
Officials inspect the buoy that exploded. Photo: RTHK

Worker on Island Eastern Corridor Link project dies in blast

A man working on the Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link project was killed in an explosion Wednesday morning, am730 reported.

Mamraiz Khan, 38, who had worked for just 10 days at the construction site opposite Oil Street in North Point, was sent to hospital soon after the accident, in which he suffered severe head injuries, but later died in hospital.

The blast also injured one of his co-workers.

A witness told Apple Daily a corroded metal buoy hoisted on a pontoon suddenly exploded when a worker was welding it.

Khan was working on another buoy two meters away.

The air current caused by the explosion was so strong that it hurled Khan against the buoy, which his head struck with great force, the witness said.

Staff from the Labor Department, the Marine Department and the Fire Services Department are still trying to determine what caused the blast.

The accident could have resulted from human error, as the evidence suggested inflammable gas remained in the buoy before welding began, the newspaper quoted an expert as saying.

Khan, who was of Pakistani origin, was married and had lived in Hong Kong for more than 20 years. 

Chow Luen-kiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union, said during an inspection of the site that the four-year-old metal buoy was made in China and met the standards set by the Marine Department.

The Highways Department, which is responsible for the project, has expressed its condolences to Khan’s family.

The department said it would make suggestions to improve working conditions and demand that contractors strictly implement workplace safety procedures.

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