AT LEAST three men were injured yesterday in a freak accident at the construction site of the new Larnaca airport.
According to the police, the men – identified as Filipinos – were laying a concrete slab on top of the ceiling of the second floor of the building.
Without warning, the 5m x 40m ceiling collapsed under their feet, sending them crashing down to the floor below.
The three men sustained multiple injuries from the fall and were rushed to Larnaca hospital by the Fire Department, which was the first to arrive on the scene.
Two of them suffered spine fractures, while the third only minor injuries. None was in critical condition.
Police brought in sniffer dogs to search for anyone who might have been crushed by the concrete slab falling on the floor below.
Authorities later said that all workers at the site had thankfully been accounted for.
The media was strictly forbidden from approaching the accident site. A spokesperson for Hermes, operators of Larnaca airport, confirmed the incident to the Mail but said further inquiries should be addressed to the majority partners, French construction firm Bouygues Batiment International.
Hermes Airports took over administration of Paphos and Larnaca airports in May 2006 in a development contract worth about 622 million euros.
The 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract gave administration control and reconstruction of the two airports to the private sector in one of the largest outsourcing contracts undertaken by Cyprus.
Participants in the consortium include French construction firm Bouygues Batiment, a unit of conglomerate Bouygues, Egis Projects SA, Iacovou Brothers, Charilaos Apostolides and Ireland's AerRianta International.
At the time of going to print, Bouygues had not released a statement on the incident.