Excavator breaks loose from crane, plunges down giant shaft at Hong Kong highway construction site

A handout photo. An excavator lies at the bottom of a deep shaft after breaking free from the crane that was lowering it at a Hong Kong highway construction site.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

Hong Kong authorities are investigating after an excavator plunged down a giant shaft as it was being lifted onto a Highways Department construction site on Wednesday evening.

The incident, captured in a viral video, took place at a site in Ho Man Tin.

The footage shows the excavator being lifted by a tower crane, then slowly turning upside down before breaking free of its rigging and tumbling down the shaft. Several workers near the shaft can be seen running away as it happens.

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Posted by 潘焯鴻 Jason Poon on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A spokesman for the Highways Department said no one was injured in the incident and work at the site had been temporarily suspended.

The location is one of the sites for the Central Kowloon Route – a 4.7km long, dual three-lane trunk road connecting the West Kowloon reclamation and the proposed Kai Tak Development. It includes a tunnel section about 3.9km long.

According to the department’s website, the HK$42.4 billion (S$7.4 billion) project, designed to relieve traffic congestion on the existing east-west roads across Central Kowloon, is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.