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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 11:34 GMT
Bridge collapses in Dubai marina
Image of the collapsed bridge - picture sent in by a website reader
The collapsed bridge is in the middle of a new development
A bridge under construction has collapsed in Dubai, killing seven workers and injuring 15, police said.

The bridge was being built in Dubai Marina, a new development in the United Arab Emirates city which is a regional business and tourism hub.

A large number of ambulances were driving to the scene of the accident.

Dubai's economy has boomed in recent years, fuelled largely by a construction industry reliant on low-paid workers, many from South Asia.

The labourers were employed by the Wade Adams Group, a contracting company based in the Middle East.

More than 40 people were working on the bridge at the time of the collapse, police said.

Fifteen injured workers were admitted to Dubai's Rashid hospital, according to hospital officials.

Five who had serious injuries were airlifted to the hospital.

Dubai marina

"We tried to put a huge piece of metal in a wall when it collapsed," said Muthu Raj, one of the workers interviewed by the media

"I saw colleagues trapped inside, but I managed to jump back and stepped on the road."

The bridge was being built over a small canal in the man-made marina complex, which is close to the showpiece Palm Jumeirah resort, a massive artificial palm-shaped island.

A spokesman for the Wade Adams Group, NM Naushad, told the Associated Press that the company would compensate the families of the dead with a total of 10 years wages each.

He estimated the workers earned on average 9,600 dirhams ($2,615; 1,240) a year.

He also said injured workers would be compensated, but did not name a figure.

Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, but safety on construction sites has been the subject of much debate in the media.

Foreign workers in Dubai recently went on strike demanding higher pay and improved housing for working on prestige projects such as Burj Dubai - set to be the world's tallest building.



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