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Gwangju seeks to exclude HDC from construction projects

Authorities order reconstruction of collapsed apartment building after demolition

The Gwangju Metropolitan Government will review legal measures to restrict Hyundai Development Company from participating in building projects in Gwangju, the city mayor said Thursday.

“If legal measures allow, we will exclude HDC from participating in construction projects in the city for a fixed period,” Gwangju City Mayor Lee Yong-seop said during a briefing held on Thursday.

Lee added that authorities are also reviewing whether to order HDC to demolish the collapsed apartment building and reconstruct from scratch, unless safety on the remaining part of the building is confirmed.

HDC said in a press release that it has decided to disband the tower crane connected to the remaining part of the building to prevent additional collapse. Some 10 workers will be dispatched to install extra brackets to the exterior wall to add more safety, the company said.

The accident occurred around 3:46 p.m. Tuesday when the floor slabs and exterior wall of the multi-complex apartment building under construction in Hwajung-dong, Gwangju fell apart. Of the six people missing after the accident, one has been found as of Thursday afternoon. 

Talking to a radio show earlier in the day, Mayor Lee said that he cannot “trust HDC’s safety at construction sites,” adding that HDC is a “bad” company and broke the promise to follow safety measures at all construction sites following the June collapse in Gwangju’s Hak-dong which left nine dead and eight injured at a HDC demolition site for a redevelopment project.

On the previous day, Gwangju authorities ordered an all-stop at all five construction sites in the city run by HDC for emergency safety checks. They are only allowed to resume once safety measures are checked.

Meanwhile, the Labor Ministry said Thursday that HDC will come under special supervision to prevent similar accidents from happening again, after causing 19 casualties at its construction sites over the past three years.

By Kim Da-sol (
Korea Herald Youtube