1 dead, 1 injured in crane collapse at Novena construction site of new TTSH rehab hub

A body covered in white cloth (bottom right) at the construction site in Novena where a crane had collapsed. Workers at the site said the dead man was an Indian national.
A body covered in white cloth (bottom right) at the construction site in Novena where a crane had collapsed. Workers at the site said the dead man was an Indian national.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
VIDEO: ST READER
An eyewitness said she saw a crane operator stuck on top of the partially collapsed crane at the construction site, which is opposite her apartment.
An eyewitness said she saw a crane operator stuck on top of the partially collapsed crane at the construction site, which is opposite her apartment.PHOTO: ST READER

SINGAPORE - A construction crane collapsed on Monday (Nov 4) at the work site of an upcoming rehabilitation hub in Novena, killing an Indian construction worker, 28, and injuring another worker.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said  the jib, or horizontal beam, of the tower crane had failed during a lifting operation. Workers told The Straits Times that the two men were on the ground when they were hit by falling material.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it received a call for help at about 8.50am. The Indian national was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.

The injured worker, a 35-year-old from Bangladesh, was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) by ambulance.

Workers at the site told ST that the crane was carrying around 300kg of scaffolding material when it “suddenly” gave way.

Most were perplexed as to why part of the crane had collapsed. 

“For construction (cranes), 300kg is considered very light,” said a worker who declined to be named, adding that the cranes can lift materials weighing tonnes.

They said the injured worker had suffered a “slight injury” to his leg. The crane operator was unharmed, they added.

A resident whose apartment faces the construction site said she heard a loud “boom” in the area at about 8.40am. The 33-year-old consultant saw the operator climb down from the driver’s cabin about 20 minutes later.


An eyewitness said she saw a crane operator stuck on top of the partially collapsed crane at the construction site, which is opposite her apartment. PHOTO: ST READER

An MOM spokesman said the dead man was employed by LKT Contractors and the injured worker’s employer is BHCC Construction. Both firms are subcontractors for the project, and could not be reached for comment.

 
 

However, a spokesman for the development’s main contractor, Kajima Overseas Asia (Singapore), said a team is looking to help the families of the workers, and will submit insurance claims for the workers and their families.

Workers were constructing a 17-storey rehabilitation complex, with more than 500 beds, which will be part of TTSH.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it was “deeply saddened” by the casualties. 

Work has been halted at the site, and MOH is working with the main contractor to render assistance to the dead worker’s family, as well as to the injured worker, said the spokesman.

The police and MOM are investigating the incident. 

Since 2015, there have been 37 “dangerous occurrences” involving mobile or tower cranes, said MOM.

Five cases were reported this year, including this incident, said an MOM spokesman.

The Indian national is the first reported fatality of a workplace incident involving a mobile or tower crane since 2015.