Singapore

Tampines viaduct incident's survivors thankful to be alive

1 killed, 10 injured after viaduct under construction collapses

Two Chinese national workers who survived after part of a viaduct under construction collapsed at Upper Changi Road East yesterday morning said they were standing on its edge when the accident happened.

An unnamed 40-year-old worker from Hebei told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao he was with his colleague, Mr Chen, when he heard a sudden loud crash.

The duo - along with nine others - fell from a height of about 5m and landed on a pile of debris. They escaped serious injuries. One of the workers from China died.

The injured worker said: "We came to Singapore about two months ago, and this was our first overtime shift. We sustained some scratches here and there but are thankful to be alive."

Mr Chen, 35, added that he was mixing cement when part of the viaduct gave way, and his ankle was stuck under a steel bar.

In a statement yesterday, the Migrant Workers' Centre identified the dead victim as Mr Chen Yinchuan, 31.

The injured are six Bangladeshi workers, three from China, and one from India, aged between 22 and 49 years.

We sustained some scratches here and there, but are thankful to be alive. One of the workers who survived the crash

About 60 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers were involved in the search and rescue operation, including members of its Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart).

K9 search dogs were deployed and 19 vehicles were dispatched to the scene, including two fire engines and seven ambulances.

Ten workers were taken to Changi General Hospital (CGH).

A spokesman for CGH said seven were admitted, with two of them in intensive care. Three have been discharged.

Several workers had rushed to the scene from their dormitories after hearing of the accident.

When The New Paper arrived at the entrance of the site around 5.15am, it was relatively quiet, with mostly police and SCDF personnel and their vehicles in the area.

Residents who live opposite the viaduct told TNP they heard loud sounds, but only knew the severity of the situation after reading the news online.

A resident of Block 345,Tampines Street 33, who wanted to be known only as Mr Hoon, 49, thought a terrorist attack had happened at Changi Airport.

He was roused from his sleep and looked out of his windows.

"We live quite near the airport, so we can always see and hear planes take off and land. I thought it might have been an attack. I felt sad that a worker died."

Another resident, who wanted to be known only as Madam Sng, 66, said: "I was quite scared because I did not know what had happened.

"It was only later on that I realised the viaduct had collapsed.

"It was quite astonishing because it's the first time after the Nicoll Highway incident."

Previous death at OKP construction site

Yesterday morning was not the first time a foreign worker has died on an Or Kim Peow (OKP) construction site.

In 2015, safety lapses at its worksite below the Yio Chu Kang flyover led to a 24-year-old unnamed worker from India falling to his death.

He fell 6m when a section of a temporary working platform that had not been secured properly was dislodged.

Three others were injured.

On Tuesday, OKP and site supervisor Victor Tan Kok Peng were convicted and fined $250,000 and $12,000, respectively, under the Workplace Health and Safety Act for performing a negligent act.

Investigations found that their workers were neither under direct supervision nor adequately trained.- JULIA TAN

Workplace AccidentTampinesFOREIGN WORKERS