Tower of accidents catches fire

TN News

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Vietnam's largest-tower-to-be in Hanoi stressed its accident-prone credentials when it caught fire Wednesday.

The tower has claimed six lives of workers in construction accidents since last July.

Khanh, working opposite to the Hanoi Landmark Tower, told local newswire Vnexpress that he saw smoke emanate from the 25th floor of the building at around 4 p.m.

Thirty five floors of the tower have been built so far. Workers on the floor climbed down on a rope ladder.

A café seller named Duy said the smoke stopped after ten minutes but reappeared five minutes later.

Two fire trucks arrived at the scene but the construction site was closed and could not be accessed. The smoke disappeared half an hour later and the firefighters were told to leave, Duy said.

Ngo Quy Cong, a representative of the South Korean Keangnam Corporation that is building the tower, said the fire started from cigarette ash of a worker. No injuries were reported.

The tower, slated to include two 48-floor towers for houses and a 70-floor commercial complex, is being constructed by South Korean firm Keangnam Enterprises which in investing more than US$1 billion in the venture. The smaller towers are expected to completed by this December and the taller one by June 2011.

Last month, two workers at the building were killed after a formwork fell on one and a steel pipe hit another one. Four other workers were killed in one week last July, all of them slipping and falling to their death.

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