The collapse occurred at around 7 a.m. as construction workers were working on a platform attached to the cooling tower of a local power plant.
By yesterday afternoon, Chinese state media were reporting that at least 40 people had been killed in the accident. Later in the evening, that number rose even further to 67 people. Now, it’s at 74 with rescue work still ongoing.
The new number comes despite earlier reports that only 70 workers were working on the site. The latest reports state that 60 people were working on the platform when it collapsed, while another dozen were waiting below for their shift to start.
The victims range in age from 23 to 53 years old. It appears that only 2 of the workers survived the accident and are currently in the hospital receiving treatment for their injuries.
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation. Because of lax safety standards, workplace accidents at Chinese facilities are not uncommon. The cooling tower was being built by Hebei Yineng Tower Engineering Co Ltd. Liao Huishou, an engineer in charge of the project, said that they had started building the tower in April and construction was planned to last 26 months.
He called it a “complicated project” because of the tower’s double-curve design and the fact that the construction platform had to be adjusted based on the height of the tower.
“Time was very pressing and the construction was very difficult,” Liao said.
74 construction workers killed after scaffolding collapse in Jiangxi province