Construction worker found dead at Lotte skyscraper

December 16, 2014


SEOUL (Yonhap) — A worker was found dead at the construction site of retail giant Lotte Group’s 123-story skyscraper in southeastern Seoul on Tuesday, police officers said.

The 58-year-old man, only identified by his surname Kim, was found on the eighth floor of Lotte World Mall located in the lower floors of the second Lotte World in Seoul’s Jamsil district, they said.

Kim was found by his colleagues at around 1 p.m. with injuries to his skull, neck and left leg, the officers said.

The accident came amid worries about the safety of the skyscraper, which would be the tallest building in the country when completed in 2016.

The retail giant had initially aimed to partially open the high-rise in April, but the plan fell through as the Seoul city government nixed it, citing safety concerns.

The metropolitan government only gave a conditional green light for Lotte Group to open the lower floors in October.

Following the news of Tuesday’s accident, the city government said that it does not plan to withdraw its earlier decision to give temporary permission to open the lower floors.

“Today’s accident occurred at Lotte World Mall but the worker was found dead at the construction site of the concert hall, which did not receive the temporary permission,” said a city official.

Police said they plan to continue investigating the exact cause of Kim’s death.

Lotte Group has come under public criticism following a series of safety-related accidents at the site.

One worker was killed while doing plumbing work there in April. Also, one worker was killed and five others were injured when a huge metal pipe fell on the ground in October 2013.