Six dockworkers died and another 22 were injured after crane collapsed at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje island, South Korea. The 32-ton crane fell on a hull of oil platform, which was under construction for the French energy company Total’s Martin Linge field off Norway. The extend of the damages to the platform were not clear and it is too early to tell if the accident will change the delivery of the vessel. The rescuers are searching for any other trapped people under the debris. All of the casualties and injured were workers hired by various subcontractors at Samsung and three of the wounded suffered severe injuries. All of them were hospitalized for medical treatment and examination. The root cause of the accident is not yet determined, but investigation is under way.
“It’s too early to say what would be the consequences for delivering the platform, but for the time being all work at the yard has been stopped and the investigation is ongoing”, said the spokesman for Total’s Norwegian subsidiary, Leif Harald Halvorsen. “The crane fell onto the platform’s well bay module, where the people were working. No Total employees were killed or injured in the incident, which took place around 0545 GMT at the shipyard in Geoje”, added he.
South Korean workers are entitled to a paid holiday on May 1 but in practice many go to work anyway. Samsung Heavy said 15,000 people were working at the shipyard at the time of the accident.
Samsung Heavy Industries is one of the largest shipbuilders in the world and one of the “Big Three” shipbuilders of South Korea (including Hyundai and Daewoo). A core subsidiary of the Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, the shipyard’s main focus is on constructing ships, offshore floaters, gantry cranes, digital devices for ships, and other construction and engineering concerns.