Cabby: I thought a body dropped on my taxi
Cabby trapped after tree falls on cab
He was waiting to make a right turn in Jurong yesterday morning when he heard something crash loudly onto the roof of his cab.
Moments later, his windshield shattered.
The cabby sat in his seat for a while, stunned.
He was thinking the worst had happened - a body had fallen on his car.
He was relieved to realise it was only a tree.
It had crashed from the left side of the road onto Mr Salman Salam's blue Comfort taxi at about 9.55am at the junction of Corporation Road and Boon Lay Drive.
"It wasn't raining. The weather was perfectly sunny and the road was clear," he said.
The tree that fell on his cab also damaged the windshield of a van in the left-most lane of the three-lane road.
Mr Salman, who is in his 60s, said: "When the tree fell on my cab, it sounded like a body. I thought someone had committed suicide. I was so shocked I couldn't even move."
It was only after he saw leaves and branches around his cab that he realised a tree had fallen on it.
"I panicked for a while, but then I took a moment to collect myself and tried to open the door," said the father of three.
But the door was jammed shut.
"I tried to force open the door until I ran out of energy so I just grabbed my mobile phone and started looking for emergency numbers to call," said Mr Salman.
In less than five minutes, a crowd of passers-by started knocking at his cab to check if he was all right.
Mr Salman said: "About four to five men from the vehicles behind me helped to move the branches away and forced open the door." The tree was about 3m long.
When The New Paper contacted him yesterday, Mr Salman said that the entire incident was still a blur but expressed his gratitude for the passers-by who helped him.
"There were a lot of people around helping me out but at that time, I was still in shock and didn't manage to thank them properly," he said.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the accident at about 10am.
A fire engine, a Red Rhino, two fire bikes, an ambulance and a support vehicle were sent to the scene.
A spokesman said that the taxi driver was assisted out of his vehicle by SCDF personnel.
Mr Salman and the van driver sustained minor injuries but both declined to be taken to hospital.
Ms Tammy Tan, group corporate communications officer of ComfortDelGro, said they are relieved that the cabby is unhurt.
She added: "We would like to thank the bystanders who had rendered assistance."
Describing the accident as a near-death experience, Mr Salman said: "It was a close shave. I was very lucky that the tree didn't fall directly on me."
I thought someone had committed suicide. I was so shocked I couldn't even move.
- Taxi-driver Salman Salam