Blaze breaks out on Strip

A blaze that broke out yesterday morning on the roof of the construction site of Galaxy Macau Phase II in Cotai resulted in the evacuation of over 6,000 workers, although no-one was injured – a work site incident that would not affect construction progress, casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group said.
Macau’s Fire Department said it received a report at 11:05 am yesterday of a fire breaking out on the roof of the as yet uncompleted 36-storey building on the Galaxy Macau Phase II site as workers were carrying out welding work.
The fire, which was entirely extinguished by 11:45 am, was caused by sparks from welding works that set ablaze the construction materials on the roof of the building, a spokesman for the Fire Department noted. The department also said that an initial investigation found nothing suspicious.
The Labour Affairs Bureau told Business Daily that it has not yet ordered any halt to the construction works on the Phase II site, adding that it would continue to look into the incident.
In an email reply to us, the Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group said the fire would not affect the construction progress of Phase II, slated to open mid-year.
“GEG is working closely with relevant parties on further investigation related to the fire. This incident will not affect the construction progress of Phase II,” the company said.
An investment analyst with Deutsche Bank AG in Hong Kong released a note following the incident yesterday saying that the fire is unlikely to cause any delay to Phase II.
“From our observations, the fire was confined to the rooftop of the hotel tower under construction, and some of the outer walls on the top 2-3 floors were blackened”, Karen Tang from Deutsche Bank AG wrote.
“As the main structure of the building, including the gaming floor, most of the hotel tower and retail podium, seemed unaffected, we believe today’s fire will not delay the opening of Galaxy Macau Phase II, which is scheduled to be in mid-2015 . . . The risk is if the government asks construction to be halted for safety standard checks. But previous cases suggest this is only likely when someone is injured”.
Galaxy Entertainment stocks dropped 1.56 per cent to close at HK$41 (US$5.3) per share on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday. The Galaxy fire is the second work site related accident of the week: on Monday, on Sands China’s site for The Parisian, a construction worker accidentally fell from a 10-metre high platform, sustaining a serious head injury. Work on that part of the construction area was halted, with the government requesting the contractor to improve safety checks.