5 killed in Tanjong Pagar crash: 29-year-old driver believed to have sped before crashing into shophouse

The car was believed to have sped along Tanjong Pagar Road before colliding into a shophouse and catching fire.
The car was believed to have sped along Tanjong Pagar Road before colliding into a shophouse and catching fire.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The shophouse involved in the accident was previously occupied by Five Oars Coffee Roasters.
The shophouse involved in the accident was previously occupied by Five Oars Coffee Roasters. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Preliminary investigations revealed the car was driven by a 29-year-old man with four male passengers, in their 20s on board.
Preliminary investigations revealed the car was driven by a 29-year-old man with four male passengers, in their 20s on board.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
A police spokesman said that at 5.41am, they were alerted to an accident involving a car along Tanjong Pagar Road.
A police spokesman said that at 5.41am, they were alerted to an accident involving a car along Tanjong Pagar Road.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The SCDF said it was alerted to a fire at 37 Tanjong Pagar Rd at about 5.40am.
The SCDF said it was alerted to a fire at 37 Tanjong Pagar Rd at about 5.40am. PHOTO: SONG SENG WUN
The SCDF said it was alerted to a fire at 37 Tanjong Pagar Rd at about 5.40am.
The SCDF said it was alerted to a fire at 37 Tanjong Pagar Rd at about 5.40am.PHOTO: SONG SENG WUN
The first police hearse arrived at SGH mortuary, on Feb 13, 2021, at 11.11am.
The first police hearse arrived at SGH mortuary, on Feb 13, 2021, at 11.11am. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
The car was believed to have sped along Tanjong Pagar Road before colliding into a shophouse and catching fire.
The car was believed to have sped along Tanjong Pagar Road before colliding into a shophouse and catching fire.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
On Saturday morning, five people were killed and one sent to Singapore General Hospital after a car slammed into the front of a shophouse.
On Saturday morning, five people were killed and one sent to Singapore General Hospital after a car slammed into the front of a shophouse.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Five people have died and one was taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) after a car slammed into the front of a shophouse on Saturday (Feb 13) morning.

A police spokesman said that at 5.40am, they were alerted to an accident involving a car along Tanjong Pagar Road.

Preliminary investigations revealed the car was driven by a 29-year-old man with four male passengers, aged 26 to 29.

The spokesman added that the car was believed to have sped along Tanjong Pagar Road before colliding into a shophouse and catching fire.

A 26-year-old woman, who is believed to be known to the driver, had tried to help the five men after the accident, he said.

But she suffered severe burns and was conscious when taken to SGH. The driver and the passengers were pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic. Police investigations are ongoing.

Earlier on Saturday, the SCDF had said it was alerted to a fire at 37 Tanjong Pagar Road at about 5.40am.

"The fire involved a car and the front of a shophouse. SCDF extinguished the fire with three water jets and one compressed air foam backpack," it said.

When ST arrived at the scene at 7.50am, about 200m of Tanjong Pagar Road was cordoned off and there was a strong burning smell in the air. 

Family members were spotted at the scene and are believed to have identified the bodies of the victims. They were taken from the accident scene to the mortuary at the SGH in two police hearses. The first, carrying one body, arrived at 11.11am, while the second arrived at 11.26am with the remaining four bodies.

At around 10.50am, the police expanded the cordon to block off the whole of Cook Street and more of Duxton Hill.

Mr Song Seng Wun, 60, an economist who lives in the area, said he heard cars revving loudly down the road at about 5.30am. After about 10 minutes, he heard a loud crash. “I looked out of my window and saw flames,” he told ST.

He saw that the car - a BMW - had crashed into the first floor of a shophouse, which was empty at the time.

When Mr Song went to the scene of the incident, he saw a man kneeling and crying on the side of the road. He said: "He was crying hysterically and begging the police officers for help, saying his friends were in the burning car."

Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) chairman, Mr Bernard Tay, said in a statement they were deeply saddened by the news of the fatal accident and reminded all motorists to practise responsible driving behaviour.

He said: "Please keep within the speed limit of the roads at all times and do not drink and drive."

He also reminded all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, to be alert and to look out for one another to keep roads safe.

The Land Transport Authority announced a road closure on Tanjong Pagar Road (towards Murray Street) after Maxwell Road at 7.30am.

SBS Transit said that bus services 80 and 145 were being diverted from Tanjong Pagar Road (towards Hoe Chiang Road), with 10 bus stops skipped due to an accident.

Shopkeepers with shops in the area were standing around the cordoned-off area trying to find out what’s happening, and when they can get to their premises.

The shophouse involved in the accident was previously occupied by Five Oars Coffee Roasters. In a Facebook post on Saturday, the cafe said it had moved out of the premises on Jan 29.

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