UPDATED 2 August, 8:45pm: MOM issues stop work order for the worksite. Collapse said to be caused by accumulated debris against the rear of the building.
A worker was injured and sent to hospital after part of the former UIC Building at Number 5 Shenton Way collapsed at about 4:40pm on Thursday.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) have confirmed that all 19 workers on-site, including the injured worker who was sent to the Singapore General Hospital before the SCDF team arrived, have been accounted for. The injured worker reportedly suffered minor back injuries.
The UIC Building, said to be a former six-storey carpark, was undergoing phased demolition when four levels reportedly gave way and caused an excavator to fall on its side. The UIC Building is located opposite DBS Building.
[See slideshow of the partially collapsed structure here]
Ministry of Manpower’s preliminary findings indicate that the collapse could have been caused by accumulated debris against the rear of the building. A stop work order has been issued.
Some people in buildings along Robinson Road, which is near the area, reported feeling tremors and hearing loud crashing noises between 4:35pm and 4:45pm.
An IT executive named Leo told Yahoo! Singapore that he felt a tremor from his office on the 18th storey of 77 Robinson Road at about 4:40 pm.
"The glass windows literally buckled inwards when the shockwave was sent out," said Thaddaeus Wee, 26, a legal intern who was at 7 Shenton Way when the incident happened.
"I heard a loud boom then the chair I was sitting on rolled and the walls shook."
Debbie Pereira, 24, PR executive, added, "It was a loud thud and the building I was in (DBS Tower Two) shook really badly and it felt as though it was an earthquake or something was falling down from the roof.”
“A huge cloud appeared and it took us a while to realise what had happened. The workers around that area were all trying to get to safety and had even attempted to get the rest who were stuck around the area.”
Yahoo! Singapore understands that the demolition project by East Height Engineering started about a month ago. A new condominium will be built in place of the former UIC Building.
MOM is now working closely with the Building and Construction Authority on the on-going investigation.
The accident follows a construction mishap two weeks back that left two foreign workers dead after an underground scaffolding collapsed at the construction site for the Downtown Line Bugis station.
Earlier on 16 July, a major fire took place at the East Village Hotel at Marine Parade, where construction work was also going on.