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Girl hit by cement bag passes away

The seven-year-old Bangladeshi girl underwent two surgeries.



A seven-year-old girl who sustained life-threatening injuries after she was hit by a falling cement bag from a construction site in Malé passed away Monday afternoon.

The girl was breathing through a ventilator after undergoing two surgeries at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, her family told the press earlier.

Her internal organs were severely damaged and she had two heart attacks while undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit, according to media reports. 

Horrific video footage of the accident on Sunday morning was widely shared on social media, prompting concern and outrage over the lack of safety measures. It shows the bag fall on the girl in a cloud of cement mix as she was walking on the pavement ahead of her mother.

Briefing the media Sunday, Malé City Mayor Shifa Mohamed identified the victim as the daughter of two Bangladeshi doctors working in Faafu atoll Nilandhoo. The family came to the capital for a short shopping holiday.

The cement bag fell from the fifth floor of Maafannu Nalahiya Manzil, a 10-storey building under construction by the W Construction company. The torn sack fell through a hole in the safety net while workers were lifting cement bags to the sixth floor.

In a statement, W Construction denied the city council’s allegations of failing to obtain permits and expressed regret over the accident. The company is covering the girl’s medical expenses, it said.

In the wake of a public outcry, the authorities suspended issuing permits as the president ordered an immediate review of safety procedures and inspection of all construction sites in the capital.