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Construction workers charged over girl’s death

The construction company’s managing director and site supervisor were also charged.



The Prosecutor General’s office has pressed charges against two Maldivians and four Indian workers over the death of an eight-year-old girl who was hit by a cement bag that fell from a construction site in Malé.

Rajjav Ali, the Indian worker who operated the winch that was used to lift the bag, was charged with reckless homicide, an offence that carries a six-year jail term. The bag fell because the winch line was loosened too much, the PG office said in a statement Wednesday.

Muthmani Ramachandran was charged as an accomplice for telling Ali to lift up the bags despite being aware that he not tasked with operating the winch line. He could face a jail sentence of more than three years and two months.

Two workers who were putting bags on the sling were also charged. They saw the girl and her mother approaching on the pavement but failed to warn them, the PG office said. The offence carries a jail term of one year and six months.

The cement bag fell from the fifth floor of Maafannu Nalahiya Manzil, a 10-storey building under construction by the W Construction company.

Adam Shafeeq, W Construction’s managing director, and Moosa Hassan, senior site supervisor, were charged with negligent homicide over the failure to take safety measures. If convicted, they could face one year and seven months in prison.

The company has also been slapped with an MVR500,000 (US$32,425) fine, the Malé City Council told the press last week.

Inspections of all construction sites in the capital and its suburbs along with a review of safety regulations were launched after horrific video footage of the tragic accident in December sparked public outrage.

Eight-year-old Rawshan Jian was the daughter of two Bangladeshi doctors who were working at the Faafu Nilandhoo island’s health centre. The family was in the capital during their annual holiday.

Last month, the parents vowed to remain in the Maldives until the investigation into her death is concluded and justice is served.