Builder Faces Charges Over Silom Crane Collapse

A woman was seriously injured Friday when a construction crane crushed her car on Sala Daeng Road.
A woman was seriously injured Friday when a construction crane crushed her car on Sala Daeng Road.

BANGKOK — A construction engineer faces prosecution for a crane collapse Friday in the Silom area that injured three people, according to a city official.

An investigation found that the crane which came crashing down during morning rush hour in Sala Daeng Road was incorrectly installed. Bangrak district chief Pakaporn Sa-nguansak said the contractor responsible for the apartment building construction site contacted police and pledged to compensate the damages, estimated to run up to 10 million baht.

Read: At Least 3 Injured When Crane Collapses in Silom

A woman was seriously injured when the crane crushed her car. Two men also received minor injuries. It also damaged five trees, 10 utility poles, three cars, two buildings and nearby sidewalks.

Thanawadee Kaewrawang, a fruit vendor, said an electrical pole across from where she sells was knocked down, but she and her customers found cover in time. She added that the area is normally very busy but there were fewer pedestrians at the time.

The crane has been removed and the road is open to traffic as normal this morning, but clean up and repairs continue for the fallen trees and affected infrastructure, including internet and phone lines.

Pakaporn said the Department of Public Works would press charges against the head engineer, whose name was not released. City Hall will seek compensation for the damaged public property from Kiatprasert Marketing, the contractor.

She added that the construction work had been permitted by the authorities.

Siriwat Chaichana of the Engineering Institute of Thailand said the 27-meter crane was mounted to a structure that may not have been sturdy enough to support its weight, causing it to come crashing down.

He said workers there told him that the crane was only recently installed for the current phase of the construction, and that his organization will investigate whether it was being used properly by a licensed operator.

Lt. Col. Jetsada Khumsastra said the unnamed Burmese crane operator fled the scene after the accident and is still on the run.

Update: A previous version of this story identified the crane operator as Wirak Reuan, but police now say he wasn’t operating it at the time of the accident.