Asia

Vietnam workers die in scaffolding collapse

Rescue workers at the construction site in Ha Tinh, Vietnam (26 March 2015) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rescue teams are looking through the rubble for trapped workers

At least 14 workers have been killed by collapsing scaffolding in Vietnam's Ha Tinh province, state media report.

About 30 other injured people were taken to hospital after the accident on a building site in the Vung Ang economic zone late on Wednesday.

Rescue workers have been searching the rubble for bodies and in case people were trapped.

The workers, all Vietnamese, were reportedly working on a port seawall project at an industrial complex.

The complex is owned by Taiwanese group Formosa Plastics and the workers had been subcontracted by a branch of South Korea's Samsung group, reports said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption One worker said he jumped free from the falling scaffolding
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption More than two dozen injured construction workers were taken to hospital

One injured man said the scaffolding had started shaking an hour after they began work, and that many people had panicked and tried to escape.

"After 10 more minutes, the scaffolding which was about 20m (65 feet) high, suddenly collapsed. I quickly grabbed an iron bar but fell free," Dan Ninh Dan told the Associated Press. He was being treated in hospital for an injured hip.

"People were screaming, calling for help from the rubble," he said. "I was very lucky to survive."

A spokesman for the zone, Pham Tran De, said there had been thousands of people on the building site at the time "so the number of workers in distress is not yet accurately calculated".

"Authorities are actively removing the rubble to rescue the trapped workers," he said.

The Vung Ang zone was the scene of violent anti-Chinese protests last year amid heightened tensions over territorial disputes between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

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