- Title: Olympics construction worker dies as Tokyo swelters, heatstroke suspected
- Date: 9th August 2019
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (AUGUST 9, 2019) (REUTERS) CROWDS MOVING IN FRONT OF TOKYO BIG SIGHT VENUE OF MEDIA CENTRE WHERE CONSTRUCTION WORKER DIED 'TOKYO BIG SIGHT' WRITTEN ON BUILDING TRAINING MOVING PAST TOKYO BIG SIGHT VARIOUS OF CROWDS MOVING IN FRONT OF TOKYO BIG SIGHT VARIOUS OF 'TOKYO BIG SIGHT' WRITTEN ON BUILDING CROWDS ARRIVING AT COMIKET 96, COMIC BOOK AND ANIME CONVENTION AT TOKYO BIG SIGHT VARIOUS OF CROWDS HOLDING UP HAND TO SHOW WRISTBAND VARIOUS OF SECURITY PERSONNEL STANDING OUTSIDE CONSTRUCTION SITE AT TOKYO BIG SIGHT SIGN AT CONSTRUCTION SITE FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY DAIWA HOUSE AND ARCHITECTS AXS SATOW INC. SECURITY PERSONNEL STANDING EXTERIOR OF EXHIBITION CENTRE, PART OF TOKYO BIG SIGHT VARIOUS OF SCAFFOLDING ON SIDE OF EXHIBITION CENTRE CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES HALTED AT SITE MAN PUSHING TROLLEY MAN WALKING DOWN STAIRS WOMAN WITH TOWEL ON HEAD WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE COMIC BOOK FAN, TAKEYUKI SAKANO, SAYING: "The heat is much worse in comparison with previous years, so for example if a worker works for one hour, companies should implement mandatory 10 minute breaks. People tend to work too hard and push themselves over the edge, so having higher ups (managers) mandating these breaks as rules is necessary." COMIC BOOK FANS QUEUING IN HEAT (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE COMIC BOOK FAN AND CONSTRUCTION WORKER, YOSHIHIRO ISHIZUKA, SAYING: "I also work in construction and I think this heat is inevitable." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE COMIC BOOK FAN, TAKAGI CHIZURU, SAYING: "Itâ€™s important to take measures to stay safe in the heat if we want to avoid something like this happening again. I think it is important for these measures to be officially implemented." TOKYO, JAPAN (AUGUST 5, 2019) (REUTERS) CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY AT ARIAKE ARENA, VENUE FRO VOLLEYBALL AND WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL AT TOKYO 2020 VARIOUS OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS CONSTRUCTION WORKER DRINKING FROM BARREL IN SCAFFOLDING
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2019 06:41
- Keywords: death heat Japan Olympics Tokyo 2020 constuction worker Temperature sport
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001ARHVMFB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A worker at a Tokyo Olympics construction site died on Thursday (August 8) after being found unconscious while working outside, organizers said on Friday (August 9), with media saying heatstroke was suspected as the Japanese capital swelters through a deadly heatwave.
Soaring temperatures have killed at least 57 people across Japan since late July, just a year before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games, highlighting the possible health threat to athletes and fans that is one of the biggest challenges for Olympics planners.
A 50-year-old construction worker who'd been laying cables outside Tokyo Big Sight, which is being renovated to serve as the media centre for Tokyo 2020, was found unconscious on the ground on Thursday afternoon and taken to hospital, where his death was confirmed, Tokyo 2020 organizers said in a statement.
Police quoted by national broadcaster NHK said conditions at the site suggested heatstroke may have been the cause, but police declined to confirm the report to Reuters. Temperatures in Tokyo hit 35.5 Celsius (96 Fahrenheit) on Thursday.
Tokyo Big Sight was open on Friday for a comic book and anime convention with thousands of comic fans braving the heat to queue and enter the venue.
Some fans queuing had great sympathy for the dead construction worker and called on the government and the construction companies to implement further safety measures.
Tokyo is hosting the Olympics for the second time, with the Games running from July 24 to Aug. 9.
(Production: Jack Tarrant, Maika Jones)
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