Construction

Construction workers torch building site, 17 cars in UAE strike

Protest in Ras Al Khaimah apparently sparked by death of worker after fall from fifth floor of under-construction building

PHOTO: Workers allegedly set fire to 17 cars in a protest over the death of a colleague. Credit: WAM

Construction workers in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE on Saturday set fire to a building site and 17 cars, in an apparent protest after their co-worker fell to his death under disputed circumstances, it was reported.

The construction site in Khalifa Bin Zayed City was hit by widespread vandalism and arson when workers allegedly set alight company vehicles, as well as offices, electric generators and fuel tanks.

The strike is believed to have been sparked by the death of a labourer, apparently after a fall from the fifth floor of a building under construction on the site, in what police are calling a suicide.

Workers, however, claim their colleague died due to a lack of safety equipment, Khaleej Times reported.

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The Asian worker was pronounced dead on arrival at Saqr Hospital, Dr. Yusuf Al Twair, head of the hospital’s emergency section told 7Days.

Ras Al Khaimah police said the situation has been brought under control, in collaboration with the Dubai and Sharjah police forces. The causes of the incident are currently under investigation, said Major General Ali Abdullah bin Alwan, commander-in-chief of RAK Police, quoted by the state news agency WAM.

Firefighters at the scene managed to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to nearby vehicles and fires, Alwan said.

Additionally, the commander urged members of the public to refrain from spreading rumours on social media, adding that the police will publish all information obtained in the ongoing investigation.

He also cautioned that violent protests and law-breaking will not be tolerated, and workers can resort to legitimate channels to address grievances with the authorities.

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READ MORE: Abu Dhabi rejects new report on Saadiyat labour abuses

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