SINGAPORE: One worker died and 10 others were injured after an uncompleted viaduct that was being built along Upper Changi Road East collapsed in the early hours of Friday (Jul 14).
The structure, which was next to the slip road from Upper Changi Road East to the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), collapsed at about 3.30am.
Chinese national Chen Yinchuan, who was one of the 11 workers on top of the structure before it collapsed, died. Three other Chinese workers, an Indian worker and six Bangladeshi workers were injured and taken to Changi General Hospital for treatment.
Eight of the injured workers are still in hospital, although the extent of their injuries is unknown.
About 60 SCDF officers, assisted by K9 search dogs, were involved in the search and rescue operation.
At 6.45am, the SCDF said search and rescue operations had been completed and all workers at the construction site were accounted for.
One of the men taken to CGH said that the workers at the site were in a floodlit area when the accident happened. The lights then went out and a few workers slipped, with one of them catching his leg on a piece of concrete.
In an update at about 5.20pm, the hospital said that of the seven workers who were admitted, two are in the Intensive Care Unit. Three have been discharged after receiving treatment.
STOP-WORK ORDER ISSUED, PERMIT REVOKED
In separate statements on Friday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said they have launched investigations into the cause of the accident.
Preliminary investigations indicated that corbels – brackets that help support beams – had given way.
BCA later clarified in a statement that it was specifically the support structure (girder) and platform (deck slab) for one portion of the viaduct that collapsed during concrete works by Or Kim Peow Contractors, the construction firm that was working on the project.
MOM has issued a full stop-work order, while BCA said it has revoked the permit for construction works at the site.
Engineers responsible for the project have been ordered to inspect the remaining supporting structures of the rest of the viaduct. The affected area has been cordoned off while the adjacent girders will be propped and supported "as a safety precaution", BCA said.
"Nevertheless, we noted that the rest of the constructed viaducts are not above any public roads and will not pose a risk to the public," it added.
LTA has also ordered the project's engineers to submit a detailed investigation report.
As a precautionary measure, LTA said it took a "half-day stocktake" of safety practices at all other LTA work sites. Work at these other sites resumed at 1pm on Friday, it said.
It added that recovery work for the collapsed viaduct were still in progress.
"We are saddened by the accident and will do whatever we can to assist the families during this difficult time. LTA officers have been assigned to help the injured workers and the families," LTA said.
Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng told Channel NewsAsia that LTA will be working with MOM to look into the incident.
"We’ll get to the root of the causes so that we can learn the lessons to prevent another such incident from happening," said Mr Ng.
MOM said it is working with the Migrant Workers' Centre and the employer to help the affected workers and their families.
TEMPORARY BYPASS ROAD TO BE CONSTRUCTED
Recovery works for the affected slip road are expected to take two days before it can be reopened for traffic, LTA said in a subsequent statement.
A temporary bypass road is being constructed for motorists on Upper Changi Road East to get onto PIE (Changi). This temporary road is expected to be open for public use by noon on Saturday, after a "thorough safety and design review" of the road by LTA.
In the meantime, motorists can make a U-turn, at the Upper Changi Road East and Loyang Avenue junction, to get onto the expressway.
As bus service 24 is affected by the slip-road closure, there will be more buses added to minimise any inconvenience to commuters, LTA said.