In the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands, a worker has reportedly died while helping to construct the multi-million-dollar Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan after falling from scaffolding and plunging some 24 feet to the ground.

According to a report from the local Saipan Tribune newspaper, the unidentified 43-year-old Chinese national fell early Thursday morning while attempting to climb exterior scaffolding to the fourth floor level of the development and was later pronounced dead at the nearby Commonwealth Health Center in Garapan.

A project of Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, the $500 million Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan broke ground in July of 2015 and had originally been due to open by the end of January. But, the Saipan project has been plagued by delays blamed on a lack of available skilled labor, unpredictable ground conditions, drainage issues, inclement weather and rights matters concerning construction tower cranes. Its inauguration date has also been impacted by the consequences of 2015’s Typhoon Saudelor along with problems in securing enough cement while last week saw a large trash fire halt construction for several hours.

These holdups mean that the giant development is now not expected to open before the end of the summer while yesterday saw the governor for the United States territory, Ralph Torres, reveal that his administration will likely grant permission for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited to continue operating its temporary Best Sunshine Live gambling facility on the island for another six months beyond its current April 30 deadline. This smaller venue is being run as a training enterprise only a few hundred yards from the under-construction Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan with its license due to be shifted once its larger counterpart is operational.

“The circumstances surrounding this morning’s tragic events are still under investigation by authorities,” read a statement from Mark Brown, Chairman for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited. “Therefore, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited is unable to release any information regarding the incident.”

Brown reportedly explained that the name of the deceased worker, who was employed by a sub-contractor, is being withheld until his family has been informed while he moreover declared that Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited will not tolerate construction practices that infringe local laws or jeopardize the safety of workers.

“On behalf of the company, our thoughts and prayers go out to the worker’s families,” read the statement from Brown. “We wish to express our most sincere sympathies and deepest condolences to the deceased and his family during this difficult time.”

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