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January 18, 2022

Gwangju seeks to exclude HDC from construction projects

PUBLISHED : January 14, 2022 - 14:08

UPDATED : January 14, 2022 - 14:08

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(Yonhap)

The Gwangju Metropolitan Government will review legal measures to restrict Hyundai Development Co. from participating in building projects in Gwangju, the city’s mayor said Thursday.

“If legal measures allow, we will exclude HDC from participating in construction projects in the city for a fixed period,” Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-seop said during a briefing Thursday.

Lee added that authorities are also reviewing whether to order HDC to demolish the collapsed apartment building and reconstruct it from scratch, or if the safety of the remaining part of the building could be confirmed.

HDC said in a press release that it has decided to disband the tower crane connected to the remaining part of the building to prevent additional collapse. Some 10 workers will be dispatched to install extra brackets to the exterior wall to increase safety, the company said.

The accident occurred at 3:46 p.m. Tuesday when floor slabs and the exterior wall of the multicomplex apartment building under construction in Hwajung-dong, Gwangju fell apart. Of six people missing after the accident, one had been found as of Thursday afternoon.

Talking to a radio show earlier in the day, Mayor Lee said that he cannot “trust HDC’s safety at construction sites,” adding that HDC is a “bad” company and broke the promise to follow safety measures at all construction sites following a June collapse in Gwangju’s Hak-dong, which left nine dead and eight injured at a HDC demolition site for a redevelopment project.

On the previous day, Gwangju authorities ordered a complete stop at all five construction sites in the city run by HDC for emergency safety checks. They will only be allowed to resume once safety measures are checked.

Meanwhile, the Labor Ministry said Thursday that HDC will come under special supervision to prevent similar accidents from happening again, after 19 casualties at its construction sites over the past three years.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)

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