News

'I don't believe he wasn't wearing safety gear'

Wife finds husband, a construction worker, dead at foot of HDB block

She saw a small group, including some police officers, gathering at the bottom of the HDB block where she was renting a room, but didn't think much of it.

But when Ms Deng Hui failed to contact her husband on his mobile phone, she began to worry.

Fearing the worst, she went downstairs and discovered that her husband, Mr Wang Tao, had fallen 14 storeys to his death.

The incident happened on Saturday at 3.30pm at Block 213, Toa Payoh Lorong 8.

Mr Wang Tao, 26, was from China and had been working in Singapore for about two years.

Two months ago, he was assigned to the block for construction works for the lift upgrading programme, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported.

His wife works in Singapore at a hotel.

The couple reportedly live apart as they are unable to afford to rent a place together. Mr Wang lived in a dormitory in Changi.

It is believed that he was tasked to do welding works with a co-worker that day andhad gone to the upper storeys. Later, when his colleague was unable to reach him on his mobile, he looked down and saw that Mr Wang had fallen.

Shin Min Daily News reported that the netting from the 14th floor to the 11th floor of Block 213 was torn, possibly during Mr Wang's fall.

Residents The New Paper spoke to reported hearing a loud sound. They said that the weather was fine, even though it had been raining the last few days.

A woman who frequently visits the block where her sister lives and who wanted to be known only as Madam Hiong, told TNP that the construction workers would always be wearing their helmets and safety belts.

Ms Deng told Lianhe Wanbao: "I see my husband about three times a week at the block and he would always be wearing his safety belt and helmet. I don't believe that at that point he wasn't wearing his safety gear."

CHILDREN

She added that she always reminded him to be careful and to think of their two children in China, a six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. The children are being cared for by Mr Wang's parents.

Mr Wang had only 18 days left in his work permit, Lianhe Wanbao reported. The couple had reportedly bought air tickets to return to China and Ms Deng had also already applied for leave.

Following the accident, Mr Wang's company has purchased flight tickets for his parents to fly to Singapore.

Construction work at the block was also stopped.

When The New Paper approached the Huaxing Constructionoffice at the worksite, it declined comment.

- Additional reporting by MELODY NG

Other fatal falls this year

There were 12 construction site deaths in the first three months this year.

Last year, a total of 33 deaths were reported in the construction sector, according to the Workplace Safety and Health Statistics Report.

Fourteen of the 17 fatal falls happened while working at heights.

Jan 23

A Chinese worker fell 19 storeys to his death at a Sengkang construction site at Fernvale Street. He was hit by a structure hanging from a crane.

Jan 28

A Bangladeshi construction worker fell four storeys to his death when the structure he was standing on gave way. The accident happened at a worksite along Eunos Road.

Jan 29

Eleven construction workers fell from a three-storey structure when a portion of the formwork collapsed. One worker later died in Singapore General Hospital.