100 year old bell tower collapses during renovation, claims one life

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Bangkok – The Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) is to carry out a 3D scan at Wat Phrayathamworawiharn after one person was killed and several were injured when a century old bell tower collapsed during renovation work on Tuesday.

The accident occurred as the tower was being lifted for placement onto a metal base. It is suspected that friction against beams being placed around the tower caused it to buckle and collapse on to 12 workers. Eleven of the workers were rescued but one man was found dead after being crushed by fallen bricks.

An EIT team led by Asst. Prof. Anek Siripanichakorn has carried out an initial survey of the accident site and theorized that softening of the soil under the tower may have caused structural weakness.

Known to be over one hundred year old, the tower did not have a metal support structure and was to be reinforced with an outer shell during renovation. The maintenance work had been ongoing for two to three months and was scheduled to end in coming weeks.

The EIT is now to work with the civil engineering faculty of King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thonburi to carry out a 3D scan of the tower to establish the actual cause of its collapse before the Fine Arts Department is able to continue with the renovation.