Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fears for China's Olympics workers as 6 die

How safe are the labourers working on the Olympic sites? This is an updated report by Richard Spencer in Beijing

Telegraph UK: Last Updated: 2:24am BST 03/04/2007 - The state-run construction company responsible for the work was so concerned to keep details secret it locked workers inside the construction site and confiscated their mobile phones while attempting its own rescue work.

Eventually, one man who had managed to keep hold of his phone crept away and called a relative who works for the police.

"There's a very high accident rate and very few of them have employment contracts, so they are not covered by medical insurance, supposed to be mandatory." He suggested the cover-up might be a sign that corners had been cut in the work or that bribes had been paid, but also of the fear companies had of the wrath of the government should anything tarnish the country's Olympics image.

The municipal construction committee issued a statement saying: "After the accident the construction company covered it up, which created an extremely bad social impact."

State media said there had been 10 arrests related to the accident. The man responsible for the labour sub-contracts at the site is reported to have fled. (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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