Feature

Curtin roof collapse leaves one dead, two injured

BY OLIVIA DI IORIO AND KENITH PNG

Workers gather outside the construction site where the glass roof collapsed. Photo: Kenith Png.

A 23-year-old male construction worker has died and two others have been seriously injured in a building site accident at Curtin University’s Bentley campus in Western Australia.

Authorities were alerted around 12.34pm local time, when the glass roof of a building under construction collapsed.

WA Police metropolitan commander Mike Bell said two construction workers were standing at the top of the structure when it “suddenly gave way without warning”. 

The two men fell more than 20 metres to the ground, he said.

“As a result a 23-year-old male has died, and another one has been seriously injured and taken to hospital,” he said.

“A third male working inside the structure has been also injured and has been taken to Royal Perth hospital for treatment.”

Commander Mike Bell briefs the media. Photo: Olivia Di Iorio.

The cause of the collapse is unknown.

Emergency services were not able to treat the 23-year-old man who died in the fall.

Police and emergency crews have been working to make the site safe so the body of the dead worker can be removed and investigations can commence.

Commander Bell said crane equipment would be needed to make the site safe. 

Drone footage was being taken to aid Police and WorkSafe with their investigations.

No other people are trapped and it’s unclear when the site will reopen.

An hour after the incident, construction workers gather nearby and watch the scene unfold. Photo: Olivia Di Iorio.

Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy Union state secretary Mick Buchan said the union would not leave “any rock unturned” in determining the cause of the collapse.

“It’s 2020. These events should not occur in the building and construction industry,” he said.

“To the families, the loved ones of the deceased, and the workmates and everyone, our thoughts are with you. We give you this – that commitment, as well, that we’ll be there to assist you. To get answers, moving forward.”

Curtin psychology students, Brooke and Kaya, were in the Curtin Medical School next to the building site, when they felt the roof fall through.

The building under construction is to be the new School of Design and Built Environment which is part of the Exchange precinct that will include a hotel, student accommodation and retail outlets.

The university confirmed no students or staff were injured in the accident.

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