PIE work site collapse: Work resumes at other LTA sites after safety checks; one worker killed, 10 injured in incident
SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement that work at all its road and rail construction sites resumed after safety checks. The checks came after a new viaduct that was being built collapsed on Friday (July 14) morning, killing one worker and injuring 10.
The structure near the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) exit to Tampines Expressway (TPE) gave way at around 3.30am, LTA said.
Preliminary investigations showed that corbels – which had been put up to support the weight of pre-cast beams between two piers – had collapsed.
This brought down the structure along with the 11 workers who had been working on it.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that one worker – a 31-year-old Chinese national – was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, while 10 others were taken to Changi General Hospital.
CGH said in a statement on Friday afternoon that seven workers were admitted, two of whom are in the ICU. Three workers were discharged after receiving treatment.
In a media statement, LTA said Or Kim Peow (OKP) Contractors was carrying out works to cast decking for the new viaduct when a section of the structure between two piers collapsed.
OKP has been taken to task for safety lapses in the past. On Tuesday, it was penalised in connection with another incident in 2015 in which a worker had also died. Before that, it was blacklisted between January and April this year.
Among the injured workers in Friday's accident are six Bangladeshi, one Indian and three Chinese nationals, said the LTA. Eight were admitted to hospital and two were discharged. The Straits Times understands that five of the workers are in surgery at CGH.
Following the accident, LTA said it was checking all its other work sites and had stopped work on them to observe a "safety timeout".
Meanwhile, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said it has revoked the permit for the construction works at the PIE work site and will be investigating the cause of the incident.
The SCDF was alerted to the incident at about 3.35am, according to a post on its Facebook page. At around 7am, it said all workers at the construction site were accounted for and that search and rescue operations had been completed.
A worker, who declined to be identified, said they had been pouring concrete at the structure when it gave way. Among the injured was a man who broke his leg, and another whose torso was punctured, he added.
The collapsed structure looked to have been about 5m high, according to an ST photographer who arrived at the scene at 4.30am.
He saw a group of paramedics and firefighters trying to revive a man, who was later taken away on a stretcher.
Several workers had rushed down to the scene from their dormitories after hearing of the accident.
The Board of Directors of OKP Holdings Limited issued a statement on Friday afternoon: "The Board is deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident and wishes to express the Company's heartfelt sympathies to the families of the deceased and others injured in the incident."
The collapsed structure is part of a highway that is under construction, said SCDF.
About 60 SCDF officers, including those from the SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team were involved in the search and rescue operation, assisted by K9 search dogs.
SCDF said the slip road from Upper Changi Road East into PIE was closed, and asked motorists to avoid the area.
Recovery works for the affected slip road from Upper Changi Road East to PIE (Changi) are estimated to take about two days, before it can be re-opened for traffic, said the LTA.
To minimise the impact on motorists and commuters, the LTA has begun constructing a temporary bypass road to facilitate access for motorists coming from the east along Upper Changi Road East and wanting to get onto PIE (Changi).
LTA said in Facebook post on Friday evening that it will carry out a thorough safety and design review of the temporary road before opening it for public use by noon on Saturday (July 15).
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