General News of Sunday, 2 May 2010
Source: Daily Graphic
Frank Nii Okai, a 22-year-old labourer, bled to death when he had his throat slashed, almost severing his head from the body in a bizarre industrial accident at the Allutrade Company Limited in Accra, manufacturers of sliding doors, windows, and louvre blades.
Frank, a casual labourer at the factory, which is located at the South Industrial Area in Accra, met his fate last Wednesday when a massive glass he and three others were conveying by hand from a warehouse to the factory broke midway.
An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that Frank stumbled over a piece of the glass he was holding and fell before the larger part slipped from the hands of his colleagues and crashed on his neck, leaving a gory spectacle of a severely slashed throat and blood.
According to the eyewitness, as Frank struggled in the pool of his own blood, his petrified colleagues looked on helplessly with others wailing to attract the attention of other workers. He said the most frightening of the scenes was when Frank pulled himself from the ground and, in his blood-soaked state, ran to the factory gate where he collapsed again before a few brave ones went to his aid to stop the bleeding by trying a shirt to his throat. He was then put in a vehicle and rushed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
None of the other three labourers sustained any injury. The glass was part of the daily consignment the company procures from the Tema Port for the casual labourers to offload from vehicles to the factory’s warehouses to be processed for customers. Some of the factory works the Daily Graphic spoke to said, they suspected that the particular glass Frank and his colleagues were handling had development cracks before it arrived on the factory’s premises. “That is not unusual but what happened was beyond comprehension; since I started working at the factory I have never witnessed or heard of such an incident.
It was scary,” one of them said. When the Kaneshie Police was contacted, the District Commander, Superintendent Iddrisu Abu Yakubu, confirmed the incident and said it was reported to the station by one Ben Aglah, an accountant of the company. The commander said a team of police personnel were then dispatched to the scene to begin investigations. When the Daily Graphic visited the factory some of the works raised issues with the safety standards prevailing at their workplace and the fact that there was no union to act on their behalf.
They said they worked under very deplorable conditions, including lack of safety measures, and there was no union to address their grievances and anytime one complained he or she was sacked from the factory.
With the Managing Director said to be on a visit to Lebanon and the accountant also being out of the country, no management member was available to speak about the issues.