Pyongyang Housing
Apartment buildings in Pyongyang / Image: Todd Mecklem, Creative Commons, Flickr

Two North Korean soldiers died in an industrial accident in the Ryongsong area of Pyongyang in early November. The two men were killed by construction materials falling from a crane at an apartment construction site.

Sources from the North Korean capital informed Daily NK of the tragic accident earlier this month. The two men had been members of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces (KPISF).

According to sources, the apartment construction project in question began last year, but soon ran into trouble due to a lack of materials. Earlier this year, the authorities ordered that construction must proceed once again.

“Construction materials had been lashed together and a crane was being used to shift them when the binding came loose and everything fell to the ground,” one of the sources explained. “This happened because the construction was being done at top speed yet they didn’t take adequate safety precautions.” 

industrial accident
An apartment construction project in North Korea. / Image: Yonhap

In other words, sources suggested that the responsibility for the industrial accident resides in the fact that in North Korea, construction speed is prioritized while the use of safety equipment is relatively rare. 

“These days, construction sites are told to focus on getting the work done fast. They pay no heed to safety regulations and suchlike,” the source alleged. The source further added that officers are not dispatched to oversee workplace safety on construction projects, and that there are no systems for delivering assistance to those hurt.

Daily NK reported on another industrial accident involving KPISF soldiers at a Pyongyang apartment construction site in January of this year.

*Translated by Chris Green

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