SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old man was arrested on Monday (Dec 5) after a crane on the heavy vehicle he was driving hit the ceiling of the Central Expressway (CTE) tunnel.
Preliminary investigations showed that the crane on the vehicle had not been stowed adequately, and the crane hit the tunnel's ceiling as the vehicle entered the expressway from Upper Cross Street, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesperson said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.
The accident caused the entrance to be closed for about four and a half hours, from 1.30pm to about 6pm. LTA said its officers removed the damaged tunnel light fixtures and assessed that the tunnel was safe before it was re-opened.
Full maintenance work on the tunnel will be conducted during off-peak hours between midnight and 5am, it added.
Police said they were alerted to the incident at 1.07pm. Investigations into the accident are ongoing.
Accident in CTE Tunnel (towards SLE) at Upper Cross Street Entrance. Upper Cross Street Entrance closed— LTATrafficNews (@LTAtrafficnews) December 5, 2016
In a Facebook post at about 4.50pm, police urged motorists to use alternative routes to the CTE.
At least 20 cases of overhead road structures being hit by "over-height" vehicles have been reported since 2013, according to figures from LTA.
From 2017, all lorries with cranes must be fitted with an audio warning system to reduce the risk of collision with overhead road structures. Existing lorries with cranes have until Sep 30, 2017 to comply with the new requirement.
In announcing the requirement, LTA said many of the incidents could have been prevented had drivers stowed the cranes before setting off.
On Monday, the LTA spokesperson reminded drivers of such vehicles to ensure that their cranes are adequately stowed before driving off and to always look out for overhead road structures.
Drivers who are found guilty of damaging road structures or buildings can be fined a maximum of S$5,000 and/or be jailed up to two years. Repeat offenders can be fined a maximum of S$10,000 and/or be jailed up to five years.