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Families moved after tower crane incident

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A tower crane’s handle collapsed on a building on Saturday morning in Commune IV’s Village 2 in Sihanoukville. Supplied

Families moved after tower crane incident

More than 30 families were forced to temporarily evacuate their homes after a tower crane’s handle collapsed on a building on Saturday morning in Commune IV’s Village 2 in Sihanoukville.

Specialist officials took two small mobile cranes to the construction site of the affected 11-storey building to remove the tower crane’s broken handle.

Commune IV police chief Sam Prak told The Post on Sunday that although no one was hurt in the incident, the situation made residents staying near the construction site fear for their safety.

“We didn’t know what would happen next as the specialists were launching the operation to remove the broken handle from the roof of the building. So we had to evacuate more than 30 families staying nearby to avoid possible danger,” Prak said.

Resident Eng Sokorb told The Post on Sunday that his family had run out of their home after the handle had broken and fell on the building’s roof.

“It was shocking for me to see the handle of the crane tilt to one side and break at a height of more than 20m. But luckily, it did not fall on our home because a stone was tied to one end of the handle.

“It [the handle] was drawn to the other side of the building, causing it to break and fall on the control room which was on the roof of the building. The handle did not fall to the ground,” he said.

Village 2 chief Sim Sameth told The Post on Sunday that he initially speculated that the big building had collapsed because he had seen in a distance the handle of the tower crane collapsing.

He then rushed to the scene to check the situation and realised it was not the case of the building collapsing. There was no injury or death in the incident.

“According to a technical official, the handle of the tower crane broke because of [a glitch] when the shaft of the crane’s handle was released. The release of the shaft was technically wrong,” he said.

Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia secretary-general Yann Thy told The Post on Sunday that the mishap had affected dozens of families staying near the big building.

“Normally, the tower crane will not easily break if it was used following proper standards and the technical tool’s quality was properly checked.

“But in this case, we understand it was part of the negligence of the technical working group and supervisor of the construction site,” he said.

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