Hoarding board at Jurong Point store under renovation falls and injures three

Authorities are investigating the incident which happened in front of the third-floor unit, which is leased out by department store BHG. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS READER

SINGAPORE - A hoarding board outside a department store unit undergoing renovation at Jurong Point fell on Thursday (Feb 24) evening, injuring three passers-by.

The authorities are investigating the incident, which happened in front of the third-floor unit, which is leased out by department store BHG.

A spokesman for Jurong Point said the incident happened at about 5.50pm.

"Jurong Point's operations and security teams responded immediately to render assistance to the injured shoppers," the spokesman added on Friday in response to queries by The Straits Times.

According to Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News, the wooden hoarding board had a metal frame.

A police spokesman said a 34-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman were conscious when taken to hospital.

They were taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, according to a Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman.

A third individual was assessed for minor injuries and did not want to be taken to the hospital.

Police investigations are ongoing.

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesman said it was also investigating the workplace accident and added that the two people who had been hospitalised were discharged the next day.

The ministry has instructed the mall operator Mercatus Co-operative to conduct thorough checks to ensure all hoarding boards in the mall are installed properly.

The Jurong Point spokesman said reinforcement works have been carried out, including at levels one and two where hoarding boards are currently used.

When ST visited the mall on Friday, the front of the unit was covered with a grey sheet and a knee-high barricade. A sign was placed in front of the unit to remind shoppers to keep clear.

According to Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News, the wooden hoarding board had a metal frame. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

A spokesman for BHG said contractors had put up the hoarding board to facilitate reinstatement works that were being carried out so the unit could be returned to the mall.

She said all works have been stopped until investigations are finished and the department store will be cooperating with the relevant authorities.

"This was a regrettable and unfortunate accident, and we have reached out to the shoppers to offer our apology and assistance," said the BHG spokesman.

The Minister of Manpower has instructed the mall operator to conduct thorough checks to ensure all hoarding boards in the mall are installed properly. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

A man working opposite the affected unit told ST that he was working on Thursday evening when he heard a loud sound.

He said: "I saw the middle of the board give way first... It fell on a man who was standing at the nearby railing using his phone."

Though parts of the board fell directly on him, the injuries he sustained did not appear to be severe and he was not bleeding.

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