PIE crash: Injured construction worker 'just arrived' from India

CONSTRUCTION worker Nagaraj Sathiaraj, 25, arrived from India less than a month ago to earn a living and help support his family of five back home.

But disaster struck last Sunday, just about 20 days after he set foot in Singapore.

Mr Nagaraj was one of nine workers injured when a BMW rammed into the back of the pick-up truck they were in.

Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, his uncle Muthukaruppan Ayyanar, 47, said his nephew is the oldest of four siblings and came from Tamil Nadu.

"I felt so worried when I saw him in hospital. He only spent 20 days here and his family has no money. When I called them, his mother was crying on the phone," said Mr Muthukaruppan, who has been doing excavation work in Singapore for over 15 years and is married with two children.

He added that his nephew, a bachelor, still has fees of between $6,000 and $7,000 to pay the agent who brought him here.

"Now he cannot work so how is he going to pay the agent's fees?" he said, visibly distraught.

Mr Nagaraj is still in intensive care at Alexandra Hospital with head injuries, but his condition is stable, his employer said.

Five of the nine injured workers remain hospitalised - two at Alexandra Hospital and three at National University Hospital, including a worker from China who is also in intensive care.

Police said investigations into the accident, which took place on the PIE, are ongoing.

MARYAM MOKHTAR