SINGAPORE: An accident at Changi Airport Terminal 2 bus interchange on Sunday (Feb 2) left the bus driver trapped and six passengers injured after the bus they were in hit a concrete pillar.
The bus was so badly crushed that Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) elite rescue team had to be deployed to the scene to rescue the trapped driver, a 62-year-old man.
SCDF said in a Facebook post on Sunday that it received a call for help at the bus interchange at about 12.30pm. Officers who arrived at the scene found the passenger bus “impacted against a concrete pillar”.
"The front of the bus was badly crushed inwards, pinning the driver in his seat,” SCDF said.
SCDF paramedics and medical crews from the Airport Emergency Service (AES) attended to the six passengers in the bus, before they were taken to Changi General Hospital.
Police said that the injured passengers were aged between 24 and 72.
Meanwhile, firefighters from Changi Fire Station and AES used hydraulic cutting tools to cut open the driver’s window, SCDF said.
"Due to the complexity of the rescue operation, rescuers from the SCDF's elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) had to be deployed to the scene," it added.
A DART Rescue Vehicle was used to pull the bus from the pillar, so as to give the rescuers more operating space.
"The DART rescuers had to first manoeuvre delicately within the limited space around the driver and with the aid of a slew of hydraulic rescue equipment, they finally gained access to the driver by prying the dashboard which had pinned his legs. They freed the driver through the rear exit doors of the bus," said SCDF.
An emergency medical team from CGH was also at the scene to attend to the trapped driver.
The rescue operation lasted about 45 minutes, SCDF said.
"The driver was safely extricated and conveyed to CGH by an SCDF ambulance in a conscious state," it added.
A spokesperson for transport operator Go-Ahead Singapore said its bus service 34 collided into a concrete pillar after exiting Changi Airport Passengers Terminal Building 1.
There were eight commuters on board the bus when the incident happened, the spokesperson said.
Four of the six injured passengers have since been discharged, while the bus captain and those who remained in hospital are in stable condition, said Go-Ahead.
"We are in ongoing dialogue with families of the injured to provide our full assistance," the spokesperson added.
"We thank the emergency services for their swift response and are fully cooperating with the authorities as investigations continue."
The police said they were alerted to an accident involving a bus along 60 Airport Boulevard at 12.30pm.
Police investigations are ongoing.