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A team appointed by Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, to investigate the cause of an accident at the Fiesta Hotel, now under construction in the Point area of Lucea, Hanover, has found breaches in the hotel’s construction procedures.
The accident occurred on Thursday, September 20 in which a section of upper-level concrete slab collapsed resulting in the injury of four persons.
Three were attended to for minor injuries, while the fourth, a Dominican Republic national, was flown to his country for further treatment. This is reportedly the second such collapse of formwork during the casting of a section of upper-level concrete slab on the project.
The investigating team, led by State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Robert Montague and State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Joseph Hibbert, also included a technical team from the National Works Agency.
The Prime Minister had expressed “deep concern at the reported frequency of accidents and injuries associated with the construction of the Fiesta Hotel” and ordered that, “necessary investigations be carried out to determine whether the developers are adhering to approved safety measures in the construction process.”
The investigating team summarized that, “the cause of collapse is attributed to a failure of individual false work props supporting the freshly poured concrete slab, which resulted in a progressive collapse of the entire section under construction” adding that, “the temporary false work was comprised of locally sourced round wood posts, stacked and simply nailed at mid-height upon each other, to make up the required ground floor false work height (6 meters)”.
According to the team, “the Hanover Parish Council, in its condition of approval of construction (Clause 16) given to the Fiesta Hotel developer, stipulated that only quality metal scaffolding and false work (props) be used in the construction of concrete works.” They stated that, “this condition was subsequently relaxed to allow for a variant solution comprising a mix of four inches by four inches sawn timber and metal scaffolding and false work props”.
Concluding, the team stated that, “it is our conclusion following on the observed mode of failure of the round wood props, that if condition 16 and or its subsequent modifications had been followed, the likelihood of a collapse would have been minimized and it is our recommendation that this clause be adhered to for the remainder of such concrete works on the Fiesta Hotel site.”
The investigators visited the site on Monday, September 24, to view the damage first-hand, and reported their findings the following day to Prime Minister Golding.