Jakarta alarmed by another collapse in a series of crane accidents; 4 dead, 5 injured

The incident happened at the construction site of a quadruple track railway project in Matraman, East Jakarta on Feb 4, 2018.

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A girder launcher at the construction site of a quadruple track railway project in Matraman, East Jakarta, collapsed at around 5am on Sunday (Feb 4) local time, leaving four dead and five others injured, in the latest of a series of crane accidents in the city.

Two of the victims died on the scene while the other two died in hospital.

The four-track railway project is expected to link Manggarai, Central Jakarta, to Cikarang, West Java, to facilitate an increase in the number of commuter trains that can pass the tracks during rush hour.

The project was initiated by the Transportation Ministry and executed by state-owned construction firm Hutama Karya (HK).

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said on Sunday that his side and the National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) had recommended that the safety committee check the safety and serviceability of heavy equipment used in the construction project.

The investigation results must be proven in writing, while the developer would be required to change equipment found not to meet standards.

The safety committee was established by the ministry following a series of accidents at infrastructure project sites in Jakarta and other parts of the country.

The Transportation Ministry's secretary-general Sugihardjo said all parties involved in construction projects should pay greater attention to safety.

"We will continue to coordinate and support the investigation led by the Work Safety Committee, which is overseen by the Public Works and Housing Ministry," Sugihardjo said.

In the first week of January, six girder boxes at a toll road project connecting Depok, West Java, to the Antasari area in South Jakarta collapsed. No fatalities or injured victims were reported in that accident.

Two weeks later, a light rail transit (LRT) girder in Utan Kayu, East Jakarta, collapsed, injuring five workers.

The MRT project has not been free from accidents, with a 3-ton parapet on Jl. Wijaya II, South Jakarta, collapsing and hitting a motorcyclist in November.

Indonesia Construction Safety and Health Expert Association chairman Lazuardi Nurdin said various factors had caused the accident, including mechanical issues and fatigue.

"The accident was related to the equipment, the launcher. But it may have also been caused by human error. The accident happened over the weekend and during normal working hours, so fatigue may have been a factor," Lazuardi said.

He suggested that all parties involved in similar accidents carry out their own investigation and release their findings to the public to raise awareness. The safety committee is also expected to find the root of the problem to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Victims of construction accidents are able to sue the developer, said lawyer Rangga Afianto.

"Workers or family members can sue the developer by filing criminal or civil lawsuits," Rangga said.

He added that such lawsuits referred to Article 359 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on negligence, which carries a maximum punishment of five years' imprisonment.

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