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Labourer buried alive

Torika Tokalau
Monday, June 09, 2014

PAILATO Radibi has raised concerns on the circumstances surrounding the death of his younger brother Simione Sugucolo.

According to a police report, Mr Suguloco, 35, died on Saturday night after he was buried by collapsing soil in Wailoku.

He was part of a group working for a local construction company contracted by the Water Authority of Fiji to lay a new sewer pipeline at its depot.

Mr Radibi said when he visited the site yesterday, he was astounded by the lack of safety procedures.

"I have experience in the type of job my brother was carrying out before he died and I know first-hand of how dangerous it is," he said.

He said the depth of the hole in which his brother was working in was about 12 feet, saying the hole was dug straight down without any retaining wall.

"The soil dug out of the hole was left too close to its opening. It has been raining all of last week, so obviously the soil was weak. Why didn't the engineer looking after that project see this?

"It was simple common sense. It's dangerous working underground and I believe the safety of my brother and two of his other colleagues who were in the hole with him were not considered at all, even before they went in."

Mr Radibi said the engineer should have made the call to stop the project because of safety issues.

Attempts to get comments from WAF and its contracted company proved futile yesterday.

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