‘I pray their souls will go to heaven’: One week after fatal Lucky Plaza accident, many come to pay respects

‘I pray their souls will go to heaven’: One week after fatal Lucky Plaza accident, many come to pay respects

Flowers, candles and snacks lined the footpath outside Lucky Plaza on Sunday (Jan 5), forming a makeshift memorial one week after a fatal accident claimed the lives of two Filipino domestic workers and injured four others.

SINGAPORE: Flowers, candles and snacks lined the footpath outside Lucky Plaza on Sunday (Jan 5), forming a makeshift memorial one week after a fatal accident claimed the lives of two Filipino domestic workers and injured four others.

The two deceased – Ms Abigail Danao Leste and Ms Arlyn Picar Nucos – have been repatriated, after their wakes were held last week.

As of Thursday, two of the four injured were still warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

READ: Lucky Plaza accident: Second Filipino killed in car crash to be repatriated

READ: Lucky Plaza accident: Emotional scenes as family, friends attend wake of victim Arlyn Nucos

When CNA visited the memorial in the late afternoon, a steady stream of people could be seen along the walkway towards the Lucky Plaza Apartment. Most of them appeared to be Filipinos.

Some of them came to light candles for the deceased, and some were seen offering prayers as well.

Many expressed sadness and shock at the accident, which occurred just behind Lucky Plaza, a popular hangout for many Filipino domestic workers on their days off.

“It’s really sad, I really feel like I want to cry,” said Ms Marjorie Bugaoan, who has worked in Singapore for more than nine years. “When I see the video, they were just eating and happy.”

The 37-year-old is from La Union province, the same place where Ms Nucos was from.

“It’s very sad, very hard,” said Ms Bugaoan, brushing away tears. “You don’t know how these things happen.”

Lucky Plaza accident one week after (2)
A crowd had gathered on Sunday (Jan 5) to pay their respects to Ms Abigail Leste and Ms Arlyn Nucos, the victims of a fatal car accident that happened on Dec 29, 2019. (Photo: Cindy Co)

SENSE OF KINSHIP
Many of those who came to pay their respects said that while they did not know the victims personally, they wanted to say their goodbyes out of a sense of kinship as fellow countrymen.

“I came to feel the presence, to give a prayer,” said Ms Marivc Surio, 30, as she started crying. "They are my co-Filipina."

Lucky Plaza accident one week after (4)
A woman lights a candle at the memorial. (Photo: Cindy Co)

READ: Friends and family pay respects to mother-of-two who died in Lucky Plaza car crash

READ: Two sisters among six Filipino victims in Lucky Plaza car crash: Philippine Embassy official

Ms Marites Rivera, 34, said that she feels “scared” after the accident and that her two sons have told her to “take care” of herself.

One of the two women who died from injuries caused by the accident, Ms Leste, had two children.

“I pray that their souls will go to heaven, that they are peaceful,” said Ms Rivera.

Lucky Plaza accident one week after (1)
Members of the Filipino community, many of whom were domestic workers, came to visit the memorial. (Photo: Cindy Co)

Several other people CNA spoke to also said their families have expressed concern for them.

“My family messaged me (and said), how are you there, don’t stay at roads which you are not sure,” said Ms Surio. “They are concerned.”

Lucky Plaza accident one week after (3)
There were candles, flowers and snacks laid out at the memorial. (Photo: Cindy Co)

FILIPINOS GATHERING ON THE PAVEMENT

A foreign domestic worker CNA spoke to said that the stretch of pavement where the car crashed through last Sunday is a popular gathering place for helpers on their days off.

“I come here every Sunday, because this place is nice for us,” said Ms Dolly Dagdag, 40.

Ms Dagdag said she was an acquaintance of Ms Nucos, although they did not spend their Sundays together.

READ: Sisters in Lucky Plaza accident were 'extremely generous' to friends, family, says brother

READ: 2 dead, 4 injured after car accident at Lucky Plaza shopping centre; driver arrested

Ms Dagdag said that while she will continue to gather at the pavement on her days off, some of her friends are spooked by the accident and will no longer do so.

“(My family said) don’t sit,” said Ms Dagdag, as she sat by the memorial quietly. “But I said: 'Accident, if it will happen, it will happen'.”

Source: CNA/cc(aj)

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