Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Seo Safety : 2 dead, 8 injured in Downtown Line Bugis scaffolding collapse
Both bodies were found after a search that took more than five hours from the time the accident took place at about 6.50am. The first body was found at 10.40am, and has been extricated, while the second - a metre away from the first - was found at 12.53pm and extricated at 4.05pm.
Both deceased workers were from China.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it is "deeply saddened by the loss of the two workers as well as the injuries suffered by the other eight workers".
"We will cooperate with the Ministry of Manpower in their investigation into the cause of the accident. We will also exercise extra vigilance to prevent a similar occurrence," said the LTA in a statement.
The first body was found submerged in cement and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) had to use water jets to keep the cement from hardening, so that the body could be removed before the cement hardens. It took the SCDF one hour to extricate his body.
The second worker took a further two hours to find, though he was lying just 1m away from the first body, as both were submerged in cement and pinned down by planks of scaffolding.
The SCDF said part of the second body was stuck under the scaffolding. It was a long and tedious process to extract the body as the SCDF wanted to do so with minimal damage to the body.
Of the eight workers who were injured when the underground scaffolding collapsed at the construction site, at the junction of Victoria Street and Rochor Road, five have been discharged from Raffles Hospital. The remaining three are still under observation in hospital.
All other workers have been accounted for.
The scaffolding that collapsed at about 6.50am was holding up the roof of a linkway that is being built between the existing Bugis station and the Downtown Line extension. The scaffolding structure was about 4 metres high.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a press release that based on preliminary information, it appeared that the workers were pouring concrete into a mould when the scaffolding structure supporting the mould collapsed. The accident happened about 4m deep beneath the surface.
The MOM added that its Occupational Safety & Health inspectors went down to the accident site immediately. The ministry has instructed all work to cease onsite, and investigations are currently ongoing.
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has also revoked the construction permit for the Downtown Line Bugis station linkway site while further investigations are ongoing. BCA's engineers also went to the site to investigate and has assesed that the collapse is localised and there are no structural safety concerns on the surrounding buildings and the road above.
LTA engineers and personnel have been mobilised on site to assist SCDF and the Police to manage the situation. SCDF got the call at 7.20am, and were on scene by 7.25am. Firefighters were sent down to search for the two workers. Search dogs have also been spotted on the scene, and a stretcher was seen being brought underground.
"The DTL Bugis station structure is substantially complete and structurally sound. The incident poses no risk to surrounding developments and the public," said the LTA.
"Similar scaffolding structures at other DTL worksites have been checked and confirmed to be safe."
The Bugis project is a Joint Venture between Soletanche-Bachy and Koh Brothers, according to the MOM.