26 people injured in 4-vehicle chain collision near Woodlands Checkpoint

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said 26 people were injured and taken to hospital. PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/LIM POH WAH

SINGAPORE - He had come to Singapore to visit a friend. But his return journey back to his home in Johor early Wednesday (Dec 20) morning left him with a car mangled at both ends, and him thankful that he could walk away without a scratch.

Mr Shen Zhongsheng's silver Nissan Serena was crushed by two lorries after a passenger bus hit the one behind him, causing a dramatic chain collision that left more than 20 people injured.

The 30-year-old Malaysian mechanic told The Straits Times: "I had stopped at a traffic light for barely a minute between two huge lorries, when the one behind me suddenly rammed into my car."

This caused his car to hit the lorry in front. He jumped out of his car and realised that a bus had hit the lorry behind him, causing the four-vehicle collision.

"I think I'm quite lucky. If the lorry driver behind me didn't hit his brakes, I could have been injured, badly even," he said.

The authorities said they were alerted to the collision involving two trailers, a bus and a car at 21 Woodlands Crossing, which is just after Woodlands Checkpoint, at around 6.10am.

The Straits Times understands that the trailers and the car were stationary when the bus approached the line of vehicles. The driver could not stop in time and crashed into the back of the trailer, the third vehicle in the line-up.

There were no life-threatening injuries and most of the people taken to hospital suffered minor injuries. All those injured were from the bus.

Mr Shen said he saw passengers climbing out of the window at the back of the bus because the door was stuck after the crash.

The bus driver and 25 passengers were taken to three hospitals - 13 went to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, 10 to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and three to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

Despite the close shave, Mr Shen said: "I felt fine. I was in worse accidents, like one last year, where I had to be hospitalised."

He was referring to a crash with a lorry in Malacca on Dec 23 last year.

Taking the advice of the traffic police, Mr Shen went to a police station in Woodlands to make a report about the accident.

At 8am, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that there was a partial lane closure at Woodlands Crossing due to the accident. It advised motorists to avoid the extreme left lane after clearing the checkpoint.

Giving an update later, the ICA said the lane was reopened at 10.15am and advised motorists to drive safely.

Police investigations are ongoing.

The ICA also said last week that about 430,000 people are expected to clear the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints daily during the December holiday period. This is 30,000 more than usual.

Traffic is expected to be heavier in the days leading up to Christmas and the New Year.

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