Novena crane accident: MWC working with employers, contractors to help Indian worker's family

Novena crane accident: MWC working with employers, contractors to help Indian worker's family

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 Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) said on Saturday (Nov 9) that it is working with the employers and contractors of the Novena construction site, where an Indian worker died following a crane accident, to provide for the victim's family while his work injury compensation is being processed. 

In a Facebook post, MWC said it is working on providing the family of 28-year-old Velmurugan Muthian with a "token sum" while they wait for the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) process to conclude. 

MWC expects the process will take between three to six months. 

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

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

"Where necessary, the MWC will also help to supplement this token to ensure that the needs of his family are met as they await the compensation from WICA," the post read. 

"In addition, we are reaching out to Velmurugan's wife to provide her with basic financial literacy advice so that she is able to manage the funds that come from the token and WICA, in order to support her unborn child and the immediate family for the long term," MWC added. 

Mr Velmurugan was pronounced dead at the scene after a crane collapsed during a lifting operation at the construction site of a new rehab facility for Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Tuesday.

Another worker, a 35-year-old Bangladeshi named Pathan, was also injured in the incident. He has since been discharged from hospital and his company has arranged for accommodation for him as well as a colleague to attend to his needs during recovery, said MWC. 

The remains of Mr Velmurugan was brought home by his cousin on Wednesday, MWC added. 

Mr Velmurugan was the sole breadwinner of his family, which includes his elderly parents, younger brother and wife who is expecting their first child, according to volunteer organisation ItsRainingRaincoats.

MWC said that based on its "experience over the past 10 years", the compensation given from WICA in similar cases could exceed S$100,000.

ItsRainingRaincoats previously started a crowdfunding campaign, which had raised more than S$158,000 by Saturday.

MWC thanked members of the public who had called in to donate to the cause. 

"We would like to thank them for their generosity and we will contact them should the need arise. In the meantime, we would like to assure the public that between the companies and MWC, we will be able to see to the immediate needs of Velmurugan’s next-of-kin," it added.

MWC also said that that the contractors are checking on their employees for signs of post-traumatic stress.

"We will work closely with them to identify these employees and arrange for them to meet with trained counsellors at Silver Ribbon Singapore immediately."

Source: CNA/jt(hs)

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