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14 killed in scaffolding collapse in central Vietnam

March 26, 2015

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — At least 14 people were killed and 28 others were injured when scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in central Vietnam.

The deputy police chief in Ha Tinh province, Bui Dinh Quang, said Thursday that all the victims were Vietnamese subcontractors hired to work on a seaport breakwater project.

He said it was not known if any other workers were trapped in the rubble. Police and rescue workers are still searching through the rubble from the Wednesday night accident.

Dinh Ninh Dan, 27, one of the survivors, said the workers were cleaning a frame for a giant concrete block for the breakwater when the scaffolding collapsed. There were more than 40 workers on the scaffolding at the time of the accident.

He said nearly an hour after they started work the scaffolding shook twice and many workers panicked and began running to an elevator before someone said there was no problem.

“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 told The Associated Press by telephone from Ky Anh General Hospital in Ha Tinh province where he was being treated for hip pain along with eight others who suffered lesser injuries.

“People were screaming, calling for help from the rubble,” said Dan. “I was very lucky to survive.”

Dr. Hoang Song Hao of Ha Tinh General Hospital said 19 workers were being treated, 15 with serious injuries.

The Son Duong seaport is part of the Vung Ang economic zone where Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp. is building a multi-billion dollar steel complex.

The site was the scene of an anti-China protest last May where three Chinese nationals were killed following China’s deployment of an oil rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

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