"After watching the video of 'Gwangju Accident', every time I walk around it, I get scared. It seems like they work in a similar way, but I'm worried if they are following the safety rules properly." The 12th, the fourth day after the 'Gwangju demolished building collapse' accident, which killed 17 people.
Demolition of a building was in full swing next to a road in Gangbuk-gu, Seoul.
The construction site had many similarities to Gwangju in many ways.
Workers piled up soil using waste materials next to the building, and demolished it as if lifting an excavator and tearing the side off.
The half-broken, four-story building had a concrete frame exposed.
Right next to the demolition site was a four-lane road with sidewalks and round trips.
There is a bus terminal nearby, and buses constantly pass by.
Workers occasionally sprayed water to catch dust blowing on the site.
There were no notices posted on the road indicating that demolition work was in progress.
There was a small signboard on the sidewalk that read 'under construction', but it was obscured by trees.
There was also no safety barrier to prevent broken material from falling onto the road.
Only one worker, wearing a vest with the words 'Signal Beacon' written on it, sat on a chair and said to passersby, "Go fast."
Citizens passing by the sidewalk looked anxiously at the construction site covered by the tent and hastened their steps.
Occasionally, I was surprised when I heard a loud 'thump'.
People who heard about the accident through the news were anxious at the thought that a similar accident might happen.
A 52-year-old resident Lee, who passed the construction site, said, "It was the road I used to walk every day, but after the construction started, I was scared every time I passed it.
Another resident, Choi, 58, said, "The construction site seems to be almost similar to the Gwangju site where the accident occurred," and "I'm worried that there are no safety devices other than a tent."
As such, the demolition method of accumulating soil and using an excavator to destroy a building is relatively risky compared to the method using explosives or a crane.
In the process of demolition, there is a risk of the building falling over if subsidiary materials roll around, or if the load is calculated incorrectly.
However, most of the small-scale sites still adopt the demolition method using an excavator.
Because it is cheaper than other methods.
“There are safety rules and regulations to prevent accidents, but there are few sites where all of them are observed,” said Sang-man Sang, head of the Korea Institute of Disaster and Safety Technology. “Especially in small-scale work, economic issues are often considered before safety issues.” pointed out
He added, "As much as creating a system, it is important to supervise whether it is properly followed." He emphasized, "We will be able to prevent another disaster only when the public sector feels responsible and strengthens management and supervision of the site."