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Part of concrete pier at Keppel Shipyard in Tuas collapses, worker missing after falling into sea

Part of the concrete pier that a crane was standing on collapsed, said the Ministry of Manpower.

Part of concrete pier at Keppel Shipyard in Tuas collapses, worker missing after falling into sea

A section of a quayside at Keppel Shipyard in Tuas gave way on Aug 22, 2022, causing two workers to fall into the sea and a crane to tilt to the side. (Photo: Facebook/Raja Sivasamy)

SINGAPORE: A search is ongoing for a missing 38-year-old worker after part of a concrete pier at Keppel Shipyard in Tuas collapsed on Monday (Aug 22).

At about 10.40am on Monday, part of the concrete pier that a crane was standing on collapsed, causing the crane to topple onto a vessel that was berthed next to the pier, a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The Bangladeshi worker, who was on the pier, fell into the sea and is missing, the MOM spokesperson added. The missing worker is employed by Kumarann Marine.

Four other workers – two Bangladeshis, one Chinese national and one Singaporean – suffered minor injuries and are in stable condition, said the spokesperson. 

The incident at 51 Pioneer Sector 1 of Keppel Shipyard caused the crane to be partially submerged under water.

"MOM is investigating the cause of the accident, and has stopped all works at the pier," the spokesperson added.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said two people were taken to National University Hospital.

A section of a quayside at Keppel Shipyard gave way on Aug 22, 2022, causing two workers to fall into the sea and a crane to tilt to the side. (Photo: Facebook/Raja Sivasamy)
Part of a concrete pier at Keppel Shipyard in Tuas had collapsed on Aug 22, 2022, causing the crane to topple onto the vessel berthed next to the pier. (Photos: Facebook/Raja Sivasamy)

A Keppel Shipyard spokesperson said: "A section of the quayside gave way causing two workers to fall into the sea and a crane to tilt to the side."

One of the workers was rescued and is in stable condition, while the other is missing.

The spokesperson added that Keppel Shipyard is working with the SCDF and Police Coast Guard on the search operations.

"Keppel Shipyard values the life and safety of every worker and is working closely with the authorities to conduct thorough investigations. As investigations are ongoing, we are unable to provide further details at this juncture."

MIGRANT WORKERS CENTRE' "GRAVELY CONCERNED"

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) said that it was "gravely concerned by yet another workplace accident".

MWC said that the recent spate of workplace accidents is a worrying trend.

It said that it is in the process of establishing contact to offer guidance and provide support to the injured workers, adding that it will "contact them at the earliest opportunity to offer mental health support and provide any additional assistance they might need along the way." 

"We will also extend counselling services to the workers who were working near the accident through our partners when the need arises," said MWC.

MWC said that it is hoping for the best for the missing migrant worker. They added that "in the worst-case scenario that he is not found or passes away," it will extend an ex-gratia pay out through the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund to provide interim financial assistance to help his next-of-kin tide over while they await compensation from the Work Injury Compensation Act.

MWC urges all migrant workers to look out for one another and to report any potentially unsafe work practices.

"If you or your fellow migrant workers have been tasked to engage in unsafe work practices, we urge you to report such incidences to the authorities without fear of reprisal," it said.

WORKERS KILLED AFTER STRUCTURE COLLAPSE

Earlier in March this year, two workers were killed after they were thrown off a vessel docked at Keppel Shipyard in Tuas. Three workers had been working on a scaffold built around a structure that was atop of the vessel on Mar 28. 

The structure suddenly collapsed at around 10pm, causing a part of the scaffold to be flung out of the vessel. Two of the workers, aged 30 and 42, were thrown out of the vessel from a height of about 20m, before landing on the dock below. 

The third worker had clung to the structure and was rescued by the shipyard's emergency response team. He was later taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

The two workers were pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics. Keppel Shipyard was the employer of the 42-year-old worker. 

What is behind the rise in workplace accidents?

Source: CNA/lk(mi)
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