SINGAPORE - Sixteen people who helped a South Korean man trapped under a truck were given awards for their public spiritedness by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Sunday.
They were among a group of well-meaning passers-by who had helped Mr Kim Seong Mo, 35, who was pinned underneath the trailer truck after an accident along Boon Keng Road on Wednesday.
Mr Kim suffered a fractured right leg and is now recovering at Tan Tock Seng hospital.
A 90-second video of the incident, which showed about 30 bystanders rushing to lift the truck to free him, went viral on social media.
On Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Alan Chow, commander of 1st SCDF division, said the awards were a recognition of the public spiritedness of these individuals.
“We are all very amazed by the amazing feat – that about 30 of you came together, without any formal coordination, lifted the trailer truck and pulled out a person in distress underneath," he said at the award ceremony.
Software engineer Asif Iqbal, 33, was among those who helped to lift the truck up.
The Singapore permanent resident from India was one of two men who ducked underneath the truck to pull out Mr Kim. Recounting the incident, he said: “We were all pushing the truck, then I realised, someone has to go underneath to pull him out."
Working together with others, he removed Mr Kim’s jacket before pulling him out by the shoulders. He said: “We realised then that the truck was starting to drop a little, I think the people lifting were getting tired, so I quickly moved his leg to make sure it wouldn’t get trapped again."
"This was an incident where everyone stopped worrying about work stresses and concerns, we put everything aside. We just wanted to help the man."
Mr Alan Lin, 30, was among those who helped to lift the truck: "On our first try (to lift it), the truck didn't even move. When it finally started moving, we just shouted, 'Get the man out!'," said the regional sales manager. "At that moment, we were just relieved that the man was okay."
Occupational therapist Lee Yuen Wan, 27, called the SCDF when she saw what happened. Said Ms Lee, whose office is on the third storey of the building facing the accident scene: "I heard a shout for help, it was so loud we could hear it even though the windows were closed."
She added: "I'm just proud that everyone helped save this man. It was lucky, he just had a fracture."