Fri, 11 Jun 2004

Six workers injured after hotel building collapses in Medan

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan

A new section of Hotel Sahiba in Medan, which was being constructed, suddenly collapsed on Thursday, leaving six construction workers injured.

The new section was a three-story building, an extension of the old hotel building. The old hotel building itself was unaffected by the incident.

Several witnesses said that the building suddenly collapsed when eight construction workers were working inside the building.

Edi, one of the construction workers, recalled that the building collapsed at 10 a.m, when he and seven other workers were working on the ground floor.

"We did not know what was going on, suddenly the building collapsed. Six of us were not able to escape immediately, so parts of the building fell on us," said Edi, who suffered light injuries in the incident.

Four workers were treated at Bhakti Hospital in the city -- namely Edi, Felix, Agus, and Elvian. The two others, Gimin and Misno, suffered fractured skulls and were admitted to Pirngadi Hospital.

A preliminary investigation found that the incident stemmed from poor construction on the second floor of the building, which caused the building to collapse, according to the Medan Teladan Police subprecinct chief Adj. Comr. Irwan Anwar.

Irwan said that police investigators were questioning three witnesses in the case, including the owner of the hotel, B. Sinurat.

In a similar incident, five construction workers were killed at the end of May in the Sunter area, North Jakarta, when part of a building they were constructing collapsed.