Car crashes into shophouse in Chinatown

Car being towed away at Chinatown.ST VIDEO: SEOW BEI YI
The elderly driver lost control of the car and it zoomed across Bukit Pasoh Road before ramming into the side of Oso restaurant.
The elderly driver lost control of the car and it zoomed across Bukit Pasoh Road before ramming into the side of Oso restaurant.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
A car rammed into a two-storey shophouse opposite the New Majestic Hotel.
A car rammed into a two-storey shophouse opposite the New Majestic Hotel.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
A car rammed into a two-storey shophouse opposite the New Majestic Hotel.
A car rammed into a two-storey shophouse opposite the New Majestic Hotel.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

A man in his 80s lost control of a Mercedes-Benz car, which rammed into the side of a two-storey shophouse in Chinatown yesterday morning.

There were no reported injuries and witnesses said the driver, who had to be helped out of the car, looked shaken but well.

The man is a member of one of Singapore's oldest millionaire clubs, Ee Hoe Hean Club, said a valet driver who works at the club.

The car was in its parking space when the driver lost control of it around 11.10am. It zoomed across Bukit Pasoh Road, crashing into the side of Oso, an Italian restaurant.

"I was shaking, it happened in front of me and it was a shock," said Oso guest relations manager Cali Serrajotto, who was in a cab about a metre away from the eatery's side entrance when the incident occurred.

Ms Serrajotto said she saw the driver looking flustered at the wheel. "There was a very loud screech and when I alighted, it (the car) went straight (to the building).

"It was very, very fast. Then, there was smoke. There was only the driver in the car. I called my boss. I went upstairs, and everybody was panicking."

As a precaution, restaurant staff turned off the gas pipes.

Mr Diego Chiarini, director of Oso, said staff evacuated the building after the crash.

Staff at the club, which is at 43, Bukit Pasoh Road, and a woman who identified herself as the driver's daughter, declined comment, saying only that the elderly man was in shock.

Oso, which is at 46, Bukit Pasoh Road, will be closed today because of the incident. The Building and Construction Authority said that while the building's structural integrity was not affected by the incident, its owner was directed to close the area and appoint an engineer to carry out detailed investigations.

Oso's website says the shophouse is a conserved building constructed in the 1920s.

While Mr Chiarini did not know the extent of the damage yet, he added that "it was only the entrance" that was affected.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2017, with the headline 'Car crashes into shophouse in Chinatown'. Print Edition | Subscribe