A loud crash startled residents and workers in Siglap yesterday morning as a crane toppled sideways at a construction site, damaging the roofs and a wall of two neighbouring houses.
"I thought I was dreaming when I saw what happened," said Ms Kerstin Dahl, an expatriate living across the road from the site. She felt lucky that the crane had not toppled in the direction of her house.
The 57-year-old was preparing to leave the house when she heard the bang around 10.40am.
"One of my neighbours was outside her house, and looked quite upset," she added.
The Straits Times understands no one was injured in the incident in Siglap Plain, which is off Changi Road.
"It happened in a few seconds," said a worker who wanted to be known as Mr Karuppan, 38, who saw it from an adjacent construction site. The crane appeared to be lifting concrete when it "toppled", he added.
When The Straits Times visited the site, an owner of one of the two damaged houses described the incident as "disastrous" but declined to be interviewed further.
The other house, which had a hole in the roof, appeared to be unoccupied.
Ms Sri Nuryanti, 35, a helper in the house next to the accident site, said the crane had been stationed outside the neighbouring plot of land recently.
In response to queries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it is "investigating a dangerous occurrence involving a mobile crane toppling at 27, Siglap Plain".
A full stop-work order has been issued to the occupier, added MOM.
The Building and Construction Authority said the structural integrity of both buildings was not affected. It has requested a detailed investigation report.
There have been at least two other mobile crane incidents this year.
In February, a mobile crane hit an HDB block in Woodlands after skidding off the road and falling on its side. It left a hole around 2m wide in the side of a POSB bank branch.
In September, another mobile crane crashed into a car near Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, trapping and injuring a nine-year-old boy.
In October, MOM announced that a work group of crane experts had been set up to help lift operating standards.