SINGAPORE - A total of 26 people were taken to hospital on Monday (Oct 30) morning, following an accident involving two lorries in Tuas.
The Straits Times understands that those injured are foreign workers from China, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. There were no Singaporeans.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to the incident at the junction of Tuas Crescent and Tuas South Avenue 5 at about 6.30am.
Upon arrival at the scene, its officers had to use a hydraulic spreader to extricate two trapped victims.
The 26 injured people, who were aged between 29 and 45, were taken conscious to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Migrant Workers’ Centre, said in a statement that one Chinese national has been admitted into the high-dependency unit in a stable condition.
"Another three workers, two Chinese nationals and one Bangladeshi national, will be kept overnight at NTFGH for further observation," he said. "All other affected workers have been triaged by the hospital and discharged to the care of their employers."
Bangladeshi Kaliyamoorthy, 41, the driver of one of the lorries, told The Straits Times that he was driving the lorry when it rear ended a lorry crane in front.
The lorry crane had stopped suddenly at the traffic light and while he had hit the brakes, the vehicle did not manage to stop in time and ended up crashing into the one in front.
"I don't know how it happened. I was shocked and scared."
Mr Kaliyamoorthy, who has been with South Forward Construction for four years, added that this was the first time he had met with such an accident.
Company director Han Jia Yuan, 46, said the firm has been registered since 2010, and also said that such a thing has never happened.
The Chinese permanent resident said he was informed of the accident by one of the workers. He added that compensation from the accident will be covered by the insurance company.
"No one hopes for an accident to happen. But now that it has, we just have to deal with it," he said.
"We tell and remind them (the workers) to observe safety rules and drive a safe distance behind, but sometimes mistakes can happen."
Mr Han declined to comment on the extent of his workers' injuries, except to say that most of them were alright, and some may even be fit enough to start work on Tuesday.
"The more serious ones will remain for observation," he said.
Migrant Workers’ Centre chairman Mr Yeo said the workers' employer has said that he will be providing all the necessary guarantees for their workers’ treatment.
"We have also advised the employer that as the accident might fall under the definitions of a workplace injury, it would be advisable to submit the necessary accident reports and work injury compensation filings for the Ministry of Manpower’s consideration," said Mr Yeo. "We understand the employer will be seeing to all necessary paperwork once they have seen to all hospital requirements."
Police investigations are ongoing.