Fire claims at least 7 lives at Chinese construction site in Ethiopia – Addis Standard

Adey Abeba Stadium Construction Site. Photo Courtesy of Addis Standard

Seven construction workers were killed and about a dozen were severely burnt at Chinese run construction site in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Addis Standard, the weekly private publication, said the accident occurred nearly a month ago on August 8, 2017.

According to witnesses cited by Addis Standard, about 20 day laborers were inside their dormitory when the fire broke out around 8:00 PM local time. Witnesses told the paper that, the fire was caused by an explosion from a gas cylinder.

The report also said 20 Ethiopian construction workers were cramped in 968 square feet dormitories while a maximum of 4 Chinese workers share a single dormitory. The living quarters for the Ethiopian workers is made of a corrugated iron with out fire extinguishers, while the Chinese workers live in a modern building with fire extinguishers.

Officials from the Chinese State Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC), which is constructing the stadium in the capital Addis Ababa, have refused to speak about the accident to the press, a silence that led the victims to believe is deliberate to protect the company’s interest and its image. The government run media in Ethiopia did not report about the story also.

Adey Abeba Stadium Computer rendering

CSCEC is building Ethiopia’s biggest Stadium, Adey Abeba Stadium, which meets FIFA standard. Once completed, it will have the capacity to hold 60,000 spectators, will host a swimming pool, volleyball, basketball, football field and other sporting facilities. The Ethiopian government has allocated a budget of 2.47 billion birr (US$12 million) for the first phase of construction.

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