Labourer killed as crane falls at Commonwealth Games site

December 14th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) A 28-year-old labourer from Punjab was killed Sunday after a part of a heavy crane fell on him at the construction site of the Commonwealth Games, leading to unrest among other workers, the police said.Shalender Singh, employed with Ahluwalia Contracts (India) Ltd that is responsible for construction works at the site, died on the spot around 9.30 a.m. when the lifting portion of the crane fell on his head.

According to a senior police officer, the crane lifter was going upwards when suddenly it broke down apparently due to overload and fell on Singh who was standing below.

Singh was a resident of Pandav Nagar in east Delhi.

As the news of the accident spread, his fellow workers stopped the work and vandalised the construction company’s temporary office.

Demanding proper compensation for the victim’s family, the workers damaged some cars parked nearby and did not spare the ambulance that was late in reaching the spot.

The labourers wreaked their anger on a legal advisor for the firm and roughed him up for allegedly disowning Singh as the employee of the company.

The police had to be called to control the situation.

“Construction has been going in full swing for the past some time and there is no safety for the workers. We are working in such risky conditions that accidents could occur anytime,” said an agitated worker.

“There have been accidents in the past but company officials have colluded with the police to bury the cases,” he alleged.

Jyot Singh, the victim’s brother, said: “Labourers are being treated as animals in the company. The company does not value its employees.”

“They pay the workers paltry money and force them to work day and night without any proper precautionary arrangements at high-risk sites. My brother too died due to overloading and negligence. We want a fair probe into the accident,” he told reporters.

A senior police officer who inspected the accident site told IANS that initial investigations pointed to overloading of the crane as the cause of the accident.

Singh’s body was sent to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital for the post-mortem examination.

Ahluwalia Contracts (India) Ltd could not be contacted for their comment.

New Delhi is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

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