PIE viaduct collapse: All 3 charges against Or Kim Peow group managing director withdrawn

The collapse of the Pan-Island Expressway viaduct in July 2017 resulted in the death of a Chinese worker. Ten other workers were hurt - two seriously - during the incident.
The collapse of the Pan-Island Expressway viaduct in July 2017 resulted in the death of a Chinese worker. Ten other workers were hurt - two seriously - during the incident.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
Under the Building Control Act, Mr Or Toh Wat, 51, could have been fined up to $200,000, jailed for up to two years, or both, for carrying out the unauthorised works.
Under the Building Control Act, Mr Or Toh Wat, 51, could have been fined up to $200,000, jailed for up to two years, or both, for carrying out the unauthorised works.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The group managing director of local construction firm Or Kim Peow Contractors (OKP), Or Toh Wat, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in court on Wednesday (July 31), for all his three charges in relation to the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) viaduct collapse in July 2017.

These were two charges under the Building Control Act, in relation to carrying out unauthorised works, and another charge of failing to ensure the safety and health of his employees under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The three charges were withdrawn a day after OKP was fined $10,000 for carrying out unauthorised strengthening works on the permanent corbels - support structures - of the PIE viaduct.

On Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang said investigations by the Building and Construction Authority found that OKP had conducted unauthorised works at the structure near Upper Changi Road.

The viaduct collapsed on July 14, 2017, resulting in the death of 31-year-old Chinese worker Chen Yinchuan. Ten other workers were hurt - two seriously.

Under the Building Control Act, Mr Or, 51, could have been fined up to $200,000, jailed for up to two years, or both, for carrying out the unauthorised works.

In addition, for not notifying the Commissioner of Building Control about the contravention of the Act despite knowing the works had not been authorised, he could have been fined up to $20,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

The third charge under the Workplace Safety and Health Act carries a fine of up to $200,000, two years' jail, or both.

 
 
 

Before the court session on Wednesday morning, Mr Or was given conditional warnings by officers from the Ministry of Manpower and Building and Construction Authority, according to his lawyer Navin Shanmugaraj Thevar from Davinder Singh Chambers.

OKP will face trial on Thursday to contest its remaining charge over causing the death of a Chinese worker and the injuries of 10 others under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The cases involving three other individuals allegedly linked to the incident are still pending. They are: Robert Arianto Tjandra, 46, of subcontractor CPG Consultants, OKP project engineer Wong Kiew Hai, 31, and OKP project director Allen Yee Chee Keong, 49.

Managing director of Calibre Consulting Singapore Leong Sow Hon, who had been appointed by the Land Transport Authority as an accredited checker for the viaduct project, was sentenced to six months' jail in early July.