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Lotte executive gets suspended jail sentence in construction worker's death

All News 15:18 January 21, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- An executive director of Lotte Engineering & Construction Co. was given a suspended jail sentence Thursday for neglecting safety measures at the construction site of its skyscraper in Seoul leading to the death of a worker.

The Seoul Eastern District Court sentenced the 57-year-old executive in charge of the construction project to eight months in prison, suspended for a year, for involuntary manslaughter.

Two other defendants who supervised the site received shorter jail terms with a year of suspension.

The court also fined the construction arm of South Korea's Lotte Group 15 million won (US$12,300).

Lotte has been beset by a series of safety accidents at the construction site of the 123-story Lotte World Tower in southeastern Seoul. The accidents have killed three construction workers in 2013 and 2014.

The victim of this case, surnamed Kim, died in December 2014 at the age of 63 in a fall from the eighth floor while working on a concert hall.

After an investigation, prosecutors said Lotte had violated the Industrial Safety and Health Act 109 times, including not having a safety fence or debris net, while building the tower.

"(I) took into consideration that the defendants reached a settlement with the victim's side after giving a significant amount of money and that the victim's carelessness was also a cause of the accident," Judge Lee Sang-yoon said.

The tower is set to be South Korea's tallest structure upon its completion, set for 2016.


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