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Investigation launched into Hanjin Subic deaths

Manila: The Korean Labor Secretary Marianito Roque has launched an investigation into the string of accidental deaths at Hanjin Heavy Industry's Subic yard, reports GMANews.TV. "Before, we left it to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to handle the matter. But now we have to intervene. I have sent a team there to Hanjin," Roque said in a translated interview with dwIZ radio.

The Labor department regional office in Central Luzon has despatched a team to the site and investigate the deaths. Roque has previously stated that subcontractors at the yard were negligent for worker safety, thereby alleviating the yard of responsibility.

The most recent incident, reported to have been the 18th death at the yard according to Hanjin's official count, saw laborer Raldon del Rosario killed last week after an 800-kilogram metal door being installed at the shipyard's "Assembly Part 3" section reportedly fell on him. Another worker, Camalio Buchie, 24, reportedly suffered a leg injury during the incident.

However, reports from But People's Task Force Hanjin indicate that the death count - from factors such as malaria- may be as high as 40.  [26/01/09]

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