Structure on highway under construction collapses near PIE, leaving 1 dead, 10 injured

Rescue incident at Upper Changi Road East. Photo: SCDF
Rescue incident at Upper Changi Road East. Photo: SCDF

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 incident occurred in Upper Changi Road East, and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted at about 3.35am on Friday morning.

One worker was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, and the 10 injured workers were brought to Changi General Hospital. According to a statement by the Singapore Police Force, the deceased was 31 years old.

A Changi General Hospital spokesperson said that of the 10 workers, eight were admitted and two were discharged.

Retiree Tay John, 72, whose flat is located opposite the construction site said he was awakened by a loud boom in the wee hours of the morning. “I got up and opened my window but I cannot see anything as it was dark. I wasn’t worried and I decided to head back to bed,” he told Yahoo News Singapore.

Accident along Upper Changi Road East on 14 July 2017. Photo: SCDF
Accident along Upper Changi Road East on 14 July 2017. Photo: SCDF

SCDF said 60 officers including members from the SCDF’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) and K9 search dogs were involved in the search and rescue efforts.

It concluded its search and rescue operations at about 7am, said SCDF in a later update on its Facebook page. It added that all workers at the site were accounted for.

The Singapore Police Force said that investigations are ongoing.

All LTA road, rail construction sites to observe safety timeout

At about 9:15am, the Land Transport Authority released the following statement detailing how the structure collapsed. It also said that works at LTA road and rail construction sites would observe a timeout on Friday morning. The statement is as follows:

“At about 0330 this morning, a section of the viaduct structure between two piers collapsed at the worksite where the new road viaduct from TPE (Changi) to PIE (Westbound) is being constructed.

“The contractor, Or Kim Peow Contractors Pte Ltd, was carrying out works to cast the decking for the new viaduct adjacent to the slip road from Upper Changi Road East to PIE (Changi). For the safety of motorists, the slip road was closed to traffic while the works were being carried out. The collapsed structure spilled onto the slip road, making the road impassable.

“11 workers were working on top of the structure during the accident. One worker was killed and the other ten injured. The injured workers were immediately sent to Changi General Hospital.

“The deceased worker is from the People’s Republic of China, while among the injured, six are from Bangladesh, three are from the People’s Republic of China and one is from India.

“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.

“Works at all LTA road and rail construction sites will observe a safety timeout this morning.

“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.”

— additional reporting by Safhras Khan and Nicholas Yong


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