Lucky Plaza accident: Over $360k collected for Filipino victims as online fund-raiser closes

Members of the public, many of them domestic workers, at a makeshift memorial at the site of the accident which happened on Dec 29. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - More than $360,000 has been raised for the Filipino victims of the Dec 29 Lucky Plaza accident as the online arm of the fund-raiser closed at 12pm on Monday (Jan 6).

The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), together with the Domestic Employees Welfare Fund, collected $362,521 from 2,888 donors according to figures on fund-raising website in about a week.

This amount is more than double CDE's funding target.

All proceeds in the online fund-raising campaign, which started last Monday at 7.45pm, will go directly towards the four injured maids and the beneficiaries of the two maids who died from their injuries after the accident.

Those looking to donate can still do so until Jan 18 by donating in person with cash at the CDE office at Lucky Plaza, or by posting a cheque to the CDE office at the NTUC Centre in Marina Boulevard.

More details are available on the CDE website.

CDE chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said on Facebook last Friday that the centre decided to start receiving these "manual donations" on the same day after receiving feedback from the public.

He thanked the public for their generosity, writing: "CDE, the employers, the victims and their families have been overwhelmed by your strong and gracious support... Your support has given us the flexibility we need to convey urgent financial support to the dependants of the two deceased and the two still-hospitalised workers."

The CDE would also be complying with the "necessary accounting and governance requirements set by the Commissioner of Charities" in distributing the money, Mr Yeo added.

On Dec 29 afternoon, the six Filipino domestic helpers gathered at a pavement in Nutmeg Road behind Lucky Plaza for early celebrations ahead of the New Year when a black Honda car turned towards them, mounted a kerb, hit the group, crashed into the pavement railing and plunged several metres onto the Lucky Plaza carpark exit lane below.

It is believed that the victims were flung from the pavement to the lane below as the car fell.

Two of the victims, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, 41, and Ms Arlyn Picar Nucos, 50, were killed.

Last Thursday, the CDE said on Facebook that Ms Leste's remains would be returned that same evening to the Philippines, where her family would receive them.

Ms Nucos' remains were repatriated to the Philippines earlier last Wednesday.

Her sister, Arceli, 56, was conscious and responsive after the accident but was still hospitalised in Tan Tock Seng Hospital as of last Friday.

Two others in the group are believed to be relatives: Ms Egnal Layugan Limbauan, 43, and Ms Demet Limbauan Limbauan, 37. While Ms Demet has since been discharged, Ms Egnal was, as of last Friday, still in a high dependency ward but conscious.

The last woman in the group, Ms Laila Flores Laudencia, 44, has also been discharged.

The six women were a tight-knit group, getting together on most Sundays.

Correction note: This article has been edited for clarity.

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