Four of six dead Indonesian freeway workers identified


TAIPEI — Four out of six Indonesian workers killed in a freeway construction collapse have been identified and officials have been working round the clock to identify the other two, an immigration official said Saturday. Seven workers, including the six Indonesians, were killed and two others were injured after a sprawling network of scaffolding at a construction site for a No. 6 Freeway exit ramp collapsed Sept. 30. As of Saturday, the four identified workers were 29-year-old Sutarji, 24-year-old Sunaryo, 31-year-old Suprapto and 20-year-old Sirmanto, according to Chang Chi, deputy director-general of the National Immigration Agency (NIA). According to the NIA, the six workers were all undocumented migrant workers who had fled their previous employers and had overstayed their visas for up to three years. The agency was working closely with the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in Taipei — Indonesia’s representative office in Taiwan — and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help the families of the dead workers to get to Taiwan as soon as possible, Chang said. The accident has brought up widespread social ramifications, with Premier Wu Den-yih pledging to enforce a crackdown on undocumented foreign workers and domestic employers and contractors who illegally hire migrant workers. Wu has also instructed the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) to uphold the human rights of the dead workers and to provide their families with as much assistance as possible. There were 151,723 Indonesian workers in Taiwan as of the end of August, according to figures from the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training under the CLA.

The number accounted for more than 40 percent of the 372,146 migrant workers in Taiwan at that time.