13 workers killed at power plant site in Ecuador

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2014 10:36 PM

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — A sudden collapse at the site of Ecuador's largest-ever infrastructure project killed 13 people and injured a dozen more, officials said Sunday.

The Chinese embassy in Quito confirmed that 10 Ecuadorean and three Chinese workers were killed over the weekend at the construction site of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric power plant. The Chinese firm Sinohydro is building the $2 billion 1,500-megawatt power plant.

A statement on the embassy's website described the accident as a "collapse in a pressure well" at the site deep in Ecuador's Amazon. It said two of the injured workers were in serious condition.

A tweet from the account of President Rafael Correa offered condolences to those who knew the workers.

"Our hearts go out to their families and co-workers," it said.

Sinohydro has implemented emergency procedures and is conducting an internal investigation, according to the embassy.

"We ask Chinese companies to reflect on this event, learn from this painful lesson, take appropriate measures, and increase safety to better protect Chinese and Ecuadorian workers," the embassy said.

The plant has drawn fire from environmentalists because it encroaches on a vast rainforest between the Andes and the Amazon.