2 killed, 1 hurt in 12-storey lift shaft fall

One man survives fall after landing on top of the others' bodies.

Three Bengali laborers fell 12 floors while working on a construction site of a hotel on Monday early afternoon, Jan. 2, 2012, near the in downtown Abu Dhabi. Two men died immediately while the third survived as he landed on them.  (Silvia Razgova/The National)

This shows the pit where they landed at the bottom of the elevator shaft on the basement level
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ABU DHABI // Two carpenters were killed and a third was injured today after falling 12 stories down an elevator shaft at a building under construction.

The three men, all in their 20s, were standing on a platform on the seventh floor of the building, its highest level, inside the elevator shaft.

But about 2pm, the load they were carrying overwhelmed the platform and it collapsed and they plunged all the way to the fifth basement level, officials said. Two of the men died immediately, officials said.

The third fell on top of the other two and survived. He was taken to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City for treatment.

"He was breathing and talking; we think his status is good and stable," said a colleague.

The building, opposite Mariah Cinema on Al Najda Street, used to be the Zakher Hotel. Two years ago, construction began to turn it into a Flamingo Hotel.

The project is expected to finish in about 18 months.