Indian worker who died in Novena crane accident was family's sole breadwinner

Indian worker who died in Novena crane accident was family's sole breadwinner

Mr Velmurugan, who died in a crane collapse in Novena on Nov 5
Mr Velmurugan Muthian died on Nov 5, 2019 after a crane collapsed at a construction site in Novena. (Photo: Facebook/ItsRainingRaincoats)

SINGAPORE: The Indian worker who died in a crane collapse at a construction site in Novena was the sole breadwinner of his family.

Mr Velmurugan Muthian, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene after a crane collapsed during a lifting operation at the construction site of a new rehab facility in Jalan Tan Tock Seng on Tuesday (Nov 5).

crane collapse nov 4
The site of a crane collapse on Nov 4, 2019 that left one worker dead. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

A Bangladeshi worker was also taken to hospital with injuries.

READ: 1 dead after crane collapses at construction site of new TTSH rehab facility

Mr Velmurugan's body is set to be flown back to India early on Thursday, accompanied by his cousin who is also a worker here, said Ms Dipa Swaminathan, founder of ItsRainingRaincoats, an initiative that gives help to migrant workers in Singapore.

As he was a Hindu, his body is likely to be cremated sometime on Thursday, she added.

Mr Velmurugan, who was from Tamil Nadu, was employed by LKT Contractors and had only been working in Singapore for about three months. 

He previously worked here for more than five years, then returned to India to get married.

His wife, elderly parents and younger brother rely on his paycheck, and a few days before the accident, he received news that his wife was expecting their first child, said ItsRainingRaincoats.

In a post on its Facebook page, the volunteer organisation shared a link to a crowdfunding campaign, which has raised more than S$57,000 at the time of writing. Two volunteers also gave white packets to Mr Velmurugan’s cousin, Ms Dipa said.

The money will be sent to his family in India.

“We will likely wait for his cousin to return from India and pass him the money in person so he can give it to the family,” Ms Dipa said.

She said they want to make sure that the money is spent well and that it will go to the family.

She told CNA that the crowdfunding campaign will likely remain up until Mr Velmurugan’s cousin returns to Singapore on Nov 14.

Of the decision to put Mr Velmurugan’s details on the social media website, Ms Dipa said: “Our real goal, more than the money, was that we didn't want him to be another statistic. We wanted everyone to know his name and story.”

Source: CNA/ga(hm)

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