Lorry driver held over collapse of walkway shelter

Above: Workers attempting to remove the fallen shelter with a crane. The 20m-long shelter in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 fell on a car (far left) after being hit by a lorry early yesterday. Left: Workers cutting the collapsed roof into smaller pieces f
Above: Workers attempting to remove the fallen shelter with a crane.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
The 20m-long shelter in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 fell on a car after being hit by a lorry early yesterday.
The 20m-long shelter in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 fell on a car after being hit by a lorry early yesterday.PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Above: Workers attempting to remove the fallen shelter with a crane. The 20m-long shelter in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 fell on a car (far left) after being hit by a lorry early yesterday. Left: Workers cutting the collapsed roof into smaller pieces f
Workers cutting the collapsed roof into smaller pieces for removal.PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

A walkway shelter at an open-air carpark collapsed and crushed a car yesterday after being hit by a lorry, whose driver had allegedly forgotten to lower a boom crane.

Nobody was injured in the incident but the truck's driver, who is in his 60s, was arrested.

The 20m-long shelter, which linked Blocks 116 and 118 in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6, fell on top of a parked blue Toyota Corolla Axio.

Jurong-Clementi Town Council general manager Ho Thian Poh told The Straits Times that the lorry driver, who was leaving the carpark, had forgotten to lower the crane and it hit the roof of the shelter, which had a height clearance limit of 4.5m.

The incident happened at about 9.30am and blocked access to a section of the carpark. The collapsed shelter also damaged the roof of an attached wheelchair access ramp.

A silver Subaru Forester parked on the opposite side of the road narrowly avoided being damaged.

Mr Ho said the town council had engaged a contractor to remove the fallen shelter and distributed leaflets explaining what had happened to more than 300 affected residents at Blocks 116, 117 and 118.

"We hope to clear it by today for the safety of our residents. That's our top priority," said Mr Ho.

By about 2.30pm, the road had been unblocked but attempts to cut the fallen shelter into smaller pieces were suspended owing to heavy rain.

A spokesman for the town council said the cost of installing the shelter, which is about six years old, was between $100,000 and $200,000, although the total damage will be higher when removal fees are included. The town council added that it would assist the owner of the damaged car with his claims for compensation.

The Building and Construction Authority said in a statement that a professional engineer appointed by the owner of the shelter had carried out an investigation and confirmed that the structural integrity of the adjacent HDB blocks was not affected by the incident.

A witness said at least six police officers were at the scene and there were several police cars.

A passer-by, who declined to be named, noted that there were at least two childcare centres in the vicinity. "Children could have been hurt," she said in Mandarin.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it sent a fire engine and an ambulance to the scene, but its assistance was not required.

Photos of the incident were shared by Facebook user Irene Soh.

The company that owns the lorry, Taiho Building Products, declined to comment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2016, with the headline 'Lorry driver held over collapse of walkway shelter'. Print Edition | Subscribe