5 Workers Killed, 2 Injured, in South Jakarta Construction Accident
Five construction workers died and two are in critical condition after they were trapped for more than an hour in the septic tank of an under-construction office tower in South Jakarta on Tuesday.
Sr. Comr. Wahyu Hadiningrat, the South Jakarta Police chief, said the incident occurred at around 10 a.m. at the Manhattan Square building site on Jalan T.B. Simatupang in Cilandak.
He said the accident began when a worker, cleaning up in the basement of the building, stepped on a plywood sheet placed over a hole and fell through to the septic tank about six meters below.
Two of his colleagues climbed down the hole to find him, but failed to emerge after several minutes. Four other workers followed suit and were also not heard from.
A rescue team later arrived and sent in one of its men wearing an oxygen mask.
The rescue worker managed to bring one of the workers, who had fainted, back out. However, when he went back into the tank to find the others, his oxygen mask slipped off and he passed out.
More rescuers were sent in to find the first rescuer and the six missing workers. When all the men were finally brought to the surface, five of the workers were found to be dead, while the sixth worker and the rescuer were unconscious.
Police have identified the fatalities as Cecep Cahyana, Joko, Jimjim, M. Saiku and Ahmad Samsudin, and the workers in critical condition as Masudi and Sutaryo. The rescuer who passed out has also been hospitalized but is not in critical condition.
Adj. Sr. Comr. Hermawan, the South Jakarta Police’s chief of detectives, said the workers were believed to have died from inhaling noxious gases over an extended period while trapped in the septic tank, but added that an autopsy would be needed to confirm this.