Thursday, June 14, 2007

More tragic similarities

A couple of news stories in the last two days, thousands of kilometres apart but, as with the storms, similar backgrounds - this time it's construction site accidents.

Today the papers are reporting scaffolding collapse in Dubai in which there were deaths and injuries. Gulf News reports one dead while 7Days says two dead and twenty-three injured.

Photo: Tracy Brand. Gulf News

A similar accident to Dubai's was reported in London on Tuesday, when a building undergoing renovation collapsed. It seems there were injuries but no deaths.

Photo: BBC website

For decades cynics here, especially Europeans, have joked about building standards, with the implication that it only happens in Dubai.

I've heard over the years that the Trade Centre was tilting, Al Ghurair Centre's foundations were not good enough and the building would collapse, Shindagah Tunnel was going to leak and then collapse, and the same old stories are being trotted out about the new developments.

As the London event shows, and many others around the world, cutting corners, shonky builders, disdain for safety measures, lack of serious inspection and non-enforcement of rules can and do cause tragic accidents - not just in Dubai but just about anywhere.

Gulf News story.

7Days story.

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