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

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

Lucky Plaza accident 4
A photo circulating on social media of paramedics attending to victims after an accident at Lucky Plaza on Dec 29, 2019.

SINGAPORE: Two people died and four other pedestrians were injured after an accident involving a car at Lucky Plaza shopping centre on Sunday afternoon (Dec 29). 

A 64-year-old male driver was arrested for dangerous driving causing death, police said.

According to eyewitnesses, the car ran into women along a walkway near the shopping centre.

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Police said they were alerted to the incident along Orchard Road at about 5pm involving a car and six female pedestrians aged between 37 and 56.

Two of the pedestrians, aged 41 and 50, were unconscious when taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. They later died from their injuries. 

The four other pedestrians, aged 37 to 56, were conscious when they were taken to the hospital, authorities said, adding that investigations are ongoing. 

Lucky Plaza car crash graphic

READ: CCTV footage emerges of moments before fatal Lucky Plaza crash

Lucky Plaza accident: I could have been killed, if I hadn't gone to buy chocolate

The six victims have been identified as Filipino domestic workers, the Centre for Domestic Employees said in a Facebook post on Sunday night, after its officers visited the hospital.

The centre added that it was working with the authorities and embassy to render assistance to the victims and that it will be getting in touch with the employers and next-of-kin to provide assistance.

The man involved in the accident is a driver-partner with ride-hailing firm Grab. He has been suspended while investigations are underway.

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the accident and are assisting the authorities in the investigation," a Grab spokesperson said. 

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for assistance at 304 Orchard Road at about 5pm and dispatched five ambulances. 

Eyewitnesses told CNA that the car went off-road and hurtled through the bushes in the direction of women who were sitting against a railing outside Lucky Plaza's apartment block. 

The women were flung over the railing, said an eyewitness who wanted to be known as Zain. 

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

The 50-year-old condominium security guard who works near the accident scene was relaxing on the steps opposite the apartment block when he saw the car head towards the women.

"One of the girls who was sitting there was flung over, then other girls also went over. Then the car fell. There were so many people screaming and some of them fainted," he told CNA.

The car and women landed on a road below which leads out of a carpark. 

Mr Swamy, a 30-year-old technician, said one of the women was pinned under the car. 

"Six of us, with my friends, tried to carry the car to pull out the girl," he said.

At least eight police vehicles were at Lucky Plaza when CNA visited the scene at 6pm and the driveway of the shopping centre was cordoned off by police.

Video has emerged online apparently showing the moments before the impact. Women are seen on a walkway before a car screech and crash is heard off-screen, prompting screams. The camera pans in time to catch the car landing and people are seen lying on the road below.

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Other photos and videos circulating on social media show twisted railings overlooking a service road on a lower level where the car landed.

In one video, a victim is seen pinned under the car while another victim lay nearby. Members of the public are also seen lifting the car so that one of the victims could be pulled out from underneath. 

At about 9pm, the mangled railing was being cut away and replaced with temporary barricades. Debris such as plastic bags and glass shards could be seen on the road where the car fell. 

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A police cordon at Lucky Plaza after an accident on Dec 29, 2019. (Photo: Gabrielle Andres)

Lucky Plaza accident 1
A police cordon at Lucky Plaza after an accident on Dec 29, 2019. (Photo: Gabrielle Andres)

Lucky Plaza is known to be a popular gathering place for Filipino foreign domestic workers on their days off on Sundays.  

Videos circulating online also show that many had gathered in the immediate vicinity of the accident.

Additional reporting by Gabrielle Andres.

Editor's note: The ages of the victims have been amended following clarification from police.

Source: CNA/ic