‘Safety First?’ Investigation turns to firms behind fatal roadway collapse

Photos: JS100
Photos: JS100

Municipal officials in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district today are preparing a report on the construction companies responsible for an elevated highway that collapsed, killing two workers and injuring 10 others.

Police and the highway department were still inspecting the extensive damage at the site of Monday evening’s collapse on Luang Phaeng Road to determine the cause conclusively. A preliminary investigation found that support beams failed, creating an imbalance that caused the section to come crashing down.

Project engineer Chatchai Prasert and a 24-year-old worker named Aran Sangkharak were killed when the 500-meter roadway collapsed at about 6pm.

Tarawan Construction Co., Ltd. and Napa Construction Co., Ltd. were paid THB1.6 billion (US$45.8 million) to do the work, which was meant to alleviate traffic congestion. The project contract began in 2021 but had its contract extended twice, and was expected to have completed by December 2024. The construction company is under an 18-year agreement worth THB6 billion with the Highway Department.

Lt. Gen. Sarawut Jindakam said eight witnesses have been questioned so far. At 10am, experts from the Thai Institute of Engineering and Forensic Evidence Division were scheduled to inspect the site and hand over CCTV evidence for analysis before meeting this afternoon with representatives for the contractors.

“Safety First” read signs all through the project area along Luang Phaeng Road, seen here in March 2023.

Yesterday, construction workers began removing the debris, which was expected to take several days. Local residents have expressed concern about their safety.

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