Police Raid Samsung Heavy Industries over Crane Collapse
On Thursday, police raided the offices of shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries to seize documents related to safety trainings and regulatory compliance. The action was part of an ongoing investigation into a crane collapse that killed six workers earlier this week at Samsung's main yard at Geoje, South Korea. SHI officials said that it was the first police raid the company has ever experienced, and that they intend to fully cooperate with the authorities.
Yonhap reports that 30 police officials raided five offices at the yard. "We will analyze the material we gathered through the raid and strictly investigate the possibility of negligence on the part of Samsung Heavy and other officials," a police spokesperson told the paper.
On Monday afternoon, a tower crane at Geoje was lifting a large object when it collided with a gantry crane and collapsed onto a break area. More than 20 workers were injured and five were killed at the scene. An additional worker later died of his wounds, bringing the death toll to six.
Through a spokesman, SHI president and CEO Park Dae-young gave his condolences to the families of the victims and promised to "make every effort to prevent such accidents . . . so that the lives lost will not be in vain." Separately, leading South Korean presidential candidate Moon Jae-in traveled to Geoje Island on Wednesday to express his condolences to the victims’ relatives.
Local authorities have ordered Samsung Heavy Industries to halt production until an investigation is complete, and the stoppage is expected to last at least two weeks. Among other affected projects, the order has halted work on a $500 million oil platform that SHI is building for Total's Martin Linge field offshore Norway, as well as two platform topsides units that are under construction for Statoil's massive Johan Sverdrup field.