Two men were injured after a tree fell on a building that they were in, trapping them in the rubble for at least 40 minutes on Thursday afternoon.
A tree, about 3m in diameter and 15m in height, is believed to have uprooted after a storm earlier in the day and then collapsed on a pre-war building causing part of it to cave in. The accident happened on Thursday afternoon on the grounds of Alexandra Hospital.
Besides the two, who were trapped, a staff member from Jurong Health and a contractor managed to get out of the rubble on their own before the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived. They suffered minor injuries.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) received a call about the toppled tree at 2.49pm. Officers first stabilised the tree and single-storey building to prevent further damage. In what it called an "intricate" operation, officers used cutting and lifting equipment to make space to extricate the trapped men. The building, said the SCDF, was badly damaged with fallen debris and sharp edges.
It took about 40 minutes to extricate the first man, who was in his 30s. The second man, who was caught deeper in the rubble, took another 45 minutes to be freed. Both are contractors.
SCDF paramedics and the hospital's medical team were on standby.
When The Straits Times arrived around 4.30pm, one person was being wheeled out on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over his face.
The building , which was once a staff gym, was being refurbished into a staff lounge.