The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said all its road and rail construction sites would observe a safety timeout after a section of an uncompleted highway structure near the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) collapsed in the wee hours of Friday (14 July), leaving one worker dead and 10 injured.
The contractor, Or Kim Peow, had previously been fined by the Ministry of Manpower for another fatal workplace accident in 2015, which killed one worker.
LTA said in a statement on Friday morning that 11 workers were on top of the viaduct structure when the accident occurred. A 31-year-old worker from China was killed, LTA added.
The 10 injured workers were brought to Changi General Hospital (CGH). Eight of them were admitted and two were discharged, a CGH spokesman said. Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, and Sam Tan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower, were seen visiting the workers in CGH. They left without speaking to the media.
A welfare officer and administrative officer from the Bangladesh High Commission also visited the hospital to get more information on the workers.
LTA said, “LTA engineers, contractors and personnel are on site working with SCDF and Police to manage the situation. LTA has also begun safety investigations into the cause of the accident in order to see if there are any lapses or gaps we would need to address urgently. In this regard, LTA has among others, directed the professional engineers (qualified persons in design & supervision) who were responsible for the project to carry out detailed investigations into the design and construction quality of the affected structure. LTA is also working with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on their investigations.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that the corbels supporting the pre-cast beams had given way. As a precautionary measure, LTA is checking all other work sites.
“We are saddened by the accident and will do whatever we can to assist the families during this difficult time. LTA officers have been assigned to help the injured workers and the families.”
In a statement on the same day, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said it has revoked the permit for the construction works at the highway structure and will investigate the cause of the accident.
BCA added that the rest of the constructed viaducts “are not above any public roads and will not pose a risk to the public”.
LTA also said recovery works for the affected slip road from Upper Changi Road East to PIE (Changi) are estimated to take about two days before the road can be re-opened for traffic.
LTA has begun constructing a temporary bypass road to facilitate access for motorists travelling from the east along Upper Changi Road East and onto PIE (Changi). This temporary bypass road is expected to be open by Saturday morning, said LTA.
— additional reporting by Nicholas Yong