Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Window Cleaning Equipment Falls From 32-storey Tecom Tower

Below Al Shaiba Tower in Dubai.
Window cleaning equipment falls from 32-storey Tecom tower (Dubai): 1 dead, 1 hurt - Five vehicles damaged: A window cleaning equipment snapped from the 34-storey Al Shaiba Tower A in Tecom, killing one person and leaving one person injured. According to eye witnesses, the two passers-by were in the area to deliver fruits and vegetables. "One of them tried to run away upon seeing the object falling down. He was hit while he was running," said a building employee. While both men were taken to hospital immediately, the seriously injured man, a Pakistani, did not make it, according to unofficial sources. The nationality of the injured person is not known yet.

The accident was caused by the collapse of a window-cleaning cradle, installed on the building. According to the building management, the company was hired to install the equipment only. "They were attaching it to the building floor by floor. When they reached the 31st floor, it collapsed," said a building manager. As a result, one balcony of an apartment on the 31st floor was hit, after which it plunged down. "My wife and her father were at home when it happened. I was at work," said the Egyptian resident of the apartment. "She called me to say that there was a lot of glass and I had to come home. When I entered the apartment, I saw a huge hole in the wall. The entire balcony had come off."

Below the building, the damage is great. Five vehicles have been crashed, four of them are totally damaged. One of the vehicles is a truck belonging to the unfortunate delivery men. "I was sitting on the terrace to drink a coffee while it happened. Suddenly I saw the object flying down. I took my coffee and I started running," said the Syrian Mahmoud Kattan (30), who works at Hair Fiesta, the hair salon under the building. His colleague Ibrham (34) from Egypt had a day off, but was woken up by the loud sound of the collapse, as his apartment is located on the 34th floor. "I suddenly saw the object flying by my apartment window. The sound was crazy, I was in shock.”

Similarly, Bonita (36), a South African resident on the 32nd floor was shocked by the intense noise when the object fell down. "At first, I did not dare to come close to the apartment window. I heard that loud sound and then saw a cloud of dust. It was as if the building was going to collapse." When she decided to take a look out of the window, she saw a body lying on the street. "At that point, he was moving his arm, he was still alive." The accident took place just after 11am and Dubai ambulance and police personnel are still at the scene. The area has been cordoned off, although residents are permitted to enter the building.

The accident created a whole in the wall of the living room.
This apartment balcony on the 31st floor was hit by the cradle.
EARLIER STORY: Window cleaning equipment fell from the 32-storey Al Shaiba Tower A in Tecom, injuring at least two people. The equipment landed on a couple of passers-by, causing serious injury to one, Dubai Ambulance personnel told Emirates 24|7. A supermarket staffer in the building said the seriously injured person was a Pakistani delivery boy who worked in the area. Cars parked next to the building were also damaged., with at least four badly damaged. The area is still cordoned off. The accident took place just after 11am and Dubai ambulance and police personnel are still on the scene. "I suddenly heard a loud noise as if the building was falling apart," said Bonita Carr, a South African resident living on the 32nd floor. "When I looked down the balcony, I saw something had fallen down."

Window cleaning cradle collapse: man dead after accident in Tecom, Dubai -  One man was killed and another injured when a window cleaning cradle fell from a 34-storey building in Tecom after its ropes snapped. The accident happened early on Tuesday morning at the Al Shaiba Tower in Tecom. The victim died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon. The falling cradle damaged 12 vehicles parked in front of the residential building, throwing up debris in a 200-metre radius. Stones and pieces of equipment were strewn under cars and across the pavement. Colonel Abdul Qader Al Banay, Director of Jebel Ali police station had earlier told Gulf News two were injured when the cleaning platform fell and some cars parked under the building were also damaged.

2 arrested after 3 injured in Tecom tower window-cleaning cradle plunge:  Two men have been arrested after a window-cleaning cradle plunged from a Dubai skyscraper, injuring three people below. The trio, who are all Asian, were on the street next to Al Shaiba Tower in Tecom about 10.45am yesterday when the unmanned platform fell from the 34-storey building. Initial reports suggested one man had been killed. However, last night the head of Jebel Ali Police Station, Brigadier Abdul Kader Al Banay, said three men had been injured and were being treated at Rashid Hospital. He said one of the men was in a critical condition.

An eyewitness shared what he saw, along with graphic photographs of the accident, on a blog. He said: “There was a strong sound of squeaking glass smashing followed by a boom. People rushed to the street to find the damage on the ground. “With God’s mercy only, the cars parked in front of the buildings were empty except for an unlucky delivery truck. The poor labourer unloading the truck received a direct hit.”

Meanwhile, Al Banay said: “The cradle collapsed and the men tried to escape but pieces of the machine fell on them.” Al Banay added: “The cradle landed on a deep-freeze van. Five other vehicles were also damaged.” Police said they have arrested the cleaning company owner and a supervisor who were responsible for putting up the equipment on the building. They are continuing to question them. The eyewitness said: “Police and rescue workers arrived almost instantly at the scene and the paramedics tried to rescue the badly injured man.”

Two injured as window-cleaning equipment falls in Dubai’s Tecom tower: Two men were injured and several cars damaged on Tuesday morning when window-cleaning equipment fell from a 34-storey tower in Tecom. There were unconfirmed reports that one of the injured men later died in hospital. “The whole building shook,” said a resident who lives on the 30th floor of Al Shaiba Tower A. “I was sitting with my cat on my lap and we both shook because of the noise.” By the time the resident, who asked not to be named, went downstairs to check on the noise, police were there and an ambulance had already taken away the two injured.

One of the two men was delivering fruit and vegetables to a supermarket at the building. “There were vegetables and bananas strewn everywhere,” said the witness. “The whole street was scattered with pieces of metal.” Several cars parked next to the entrance of the building were severely damaged, while other nearby vehicles also had minor damage. Apartment windows on one of the upper floors of the building also appeared to be damaged. One resident said she was afraid for her safety as similar equipment is mounted on the roof of tower B of the complex.

Maintenance cradles are safe, Dubai Municipality official says: An official at the civic body said on Wednesday that residents should not have to worry for their safety when cleaning and maintenance works are carried out in their building as all equipment are approved by the Dubai Accreditation Centre. The affirmation came a day after a cradle used to hoist workers on the exterior of a building fell from a 34-storey residential building in Tecom on Tuesday killing one man and injuring another passer-by.

According to Dubai Municipality, either the building owners or the building’s administration are responsible for providing an adequate and reliable maintenance service which includes providing cradles used to clean the glass panels. “Buildings with window curtains have to be designed and built in a way that allows room for cradles to be used on as there are several models of cradles. Before the building is approved, the building’s management has to first test the cradle and ensure that it works properly, and that can only be done by obtaining a certificate of inspection from a private company that attests such equipment,” said Ahmad Khalil, principal safety engineer at the Building Department, Dubai Municipality.

Khalil explained that the private companies attesting the equipment have to be approved by the Dubai Accreditation Centre, and that the responsibility of providing periodic maintenance has to be carried out by the building’s administration. “The management of buildings should never look for ways to cut costs and should always ensure that they are providing residents with services that have been verified and approved by the relevant authorities,” he said. Khalil pointed out that accidents may arise from faulty cradles if the equipment has not been regularly maintained, if the maintenance companies hired do not have the license to operate such equipment, or are generally incautious to following safety procedures.

Men injured in Dubai window-cleaning cradle fall expected to recover:  Both men injured when a window cradle fell from a 34-storey tower on Tuesday morning are expected to make a full recovery, the regulator of the free zone where the tower is located said on Thursday. The Dubai Technology and Free Zone Authority, the regulator for Tecom, the area where Al Shaiba Tower A is located, said a preliminary investigation has been completed. “While we are prohibited from disclosing full details at this time, we can confirm that no fatalities resulted from the incident,” it said. The authority said one man remains in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. A second suffered minor facial injuries and has already been released from hospital.

“We will continue to work with Dubai Police and other authorities throughout the course of the investigation and will take appropriate action once the process has been completed.” The two men were hurt when the unmanned cradle fell about 10.45am. Several cars were damaged and some windows on surrounding buildings appeared to be damaged. Tecom Investments released a statement, saying it had been in touch with the two injured men “to check on their welfare and gain a better understanding of what occurred”.

Authorities deny reports of fatality in crane fall in Dubai: Tecom, DTMFZA say two workers were injured in the accident, preliminary investigation completed. Authorities have denied reports about a man’s death after a window-cleaning platform crashed from the 34th floor of a tower in the Tecom area on Tuesday morning. The Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA) on Thursday confirmed that there was no fatality in the incident as reported by a section of the media.

The DTMFZA said it has completed its preliminary investigation into the incident at Al Shaiba Tower A.  “While we are prohibited from disclosing full details at this time, we can confirm that no fatalities resulted from the incident.” The authority said one man was in hospital following prompt medical treatment and is expected to make a full recovery. “The second man sustained minor facial injuries in the accident and has already been discharged.  We will continue to work with the Dubai Police and other authorities throughout the course of the investigation and will take appropriate action once the process has been completed,” its statement added.

Tecom Investments also issued a similar statement. “We are pleased to confirm that the incident at Al Shaiba Tower A did not result in any fatalities, contrary to initial media reports. DTMFZA and Tecom Investments have been in direct contact with the two men injured in the incident to check on their welfare and gain a better understanding of what occurred. We will continue to liaise with DTMFZA, the regulator for the area, and provide our assistance in resolving this matter,” it said.

Khaleej Times had reported that the men were working under the platform, on the ground floor, when the collapse took place. Eyewitnesses said they were stunned when they heard a loud noise and saw the crane come crashing down on top of three workers. The crane also caused damage to six vehicles in the area, one of which was still occupied by its driver, as well as the injury of two passers-by. As a result of the collapse, windows on the 31st floor were also damaged.

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