Construction on Gold Tower 42 was suspended on Wednesday after a piece of metal fell from the building and onto a car in the capital’s Boeung Keng Kang district.
Phnom Penh Land Management Department director Sarin Vanna said that Yon Woo Cambodia Co Ltd, which owns the site, would investigate to ensure the site was safe before construction resumed.
“There was no work being done at the location where the piece of metal fell from. We found that a rope had decayed due to rust and unravelled.
“I think the construction site was dormant for some time, so some fixings or rope may have decayed, causing the metal to fall,” Vanna said.
The incident counts as the second time this year that a piece of construction material had fallen during construction of Gold Tower 42. In July, a metre-long bar of metal fell onto a parked car beneath, causing only property damage.
Vanna said the city’s construction code required the building to have a metal divider surrounding it to ensure public safety, but the site managers had neglected to put up the structure.
Boeung Keng Kang district governor Thim Sam At told The Post that the owner of the damaged vehicle and the construction site manager were negotiating compensation. But he declined to reveal the cost of the damage.
Building and Wood Workers Trade Union of Cambodia vice-president Sou Chhlonh told The Post that it was common for metal and other construction materials to fall from Cambodian building sites due to a lack of inspection and carelessness on the part of the site owners.
“I think the inspection by officials was not conducted thoroughly and the workers were not equipped with sufficient safety material,” he said.
Kim Tae-yeon, president and chairman of South Korea-based Yon Woo Cambodia Co Ltd which owns the site, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Construction on the 42-storey building suffered from a 10-year delay because of the 2008 global financial crisis.
The project was resumed after Yon Woo Cambodia Co Ltd signed an investment agreement with two Chinese companies – Shenzhen Hongtao Decoration Co Ltd and Macao’s Weimin Construction Engineering Co Ltd – in November 2017.
In November 2014, five construction workers were charged with unintentional murder after a metal support beam fell 12 stories and killed a passing motorist.
Puth Vanny, 48, was riding a motorbike with her son and his fiancee past the site near the Olympic Stadium when the metal object fell and killed her. Vanny’s family filed a complaint to district authorities demanding $100,000 in compensation.