PIE work site collapse: Two workers still in critical condition

Two workers, Gao Li Qun, 49, and Barek Mohammad Abdul, 25, are still in critical condition. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Two of the 10 workers who were injured after the collapse of an uncompleted structure near the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) on Friday (July 14) are still in critical condition, said Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC), in a media statement on Monday.

The workers are Chinese national Gao Li Qun, 49, and Bangladeshi national Barek Mohammad Abdul, 25.

Meanwhile, two other Bangladeshi workers - Khan Mohammed Sohan, 23, and Moniruzzaman Mohammad, 34 - had been moved to normal wards when staff from MWC visited them on Monday. "Both were in positive spirits, were able to speak, and are optimistic about making full recoveries," said Mr Yeo.

Two others - 33-year-old Alam Shah from Bangladesh and 30-year-old Kathiresan Alaguraja from India - had just completed follow-up operations and are recovering.

They are all at Changi General Hospital.

The remaining four: Chinese workers Chen Jiang Hui, 41, and Wang Jun Wei 40, and Bangladeshi workers Raihan Mohammad, 25 and Hossain Md Mithu, 22, have been discharged.

Mr Yeo said the four were able to sit up and move around by themselves when MWC staff went to see them. "While some head and body aches persist, the workers are hopeful that they may be cleared to go back to work soon."

All necessary work injury claims will be filed by the employers. The MWC also understands that the employer of 31-year-old Chen Yinchuan, who died in the accident, will pay for Mr Chen's next-of-kin to travel to Singapore to pay their final respects, and take his body home to China.

"The employer has also made known his intention to provide the family with a bereavement token to tide them over the difficult period before the work injury compensation assessment can be made," said Mr Yeo. The MWC will assist the employer with travel and living arrangements for Mr Chen's relatives.

Mr Yeo also said that it took the MWC a few days to "navigate various access controls" before they were allowed to see all the workers involved in the accident, but said this did not cause a slowdown in providing workers with legal relief or assistance.

He said that the delay may have been due to the high-profile nature of this accident, and the apprehension on the part of the main contractor - Or Kim Peow Contractors - about involving "an unknown third-party".

He reiterated to employers that "there is no reason to deliberately exclude the MWC as our only concern is for the well-being of the affected workers in such situations".

In a separate incident on Friday, a 41-year-old worker, Chinese national Zheng Cheng Fei, fell to his death from a building under construction in Sembawang.

The MWC said it had learnt the employer will be filing the work injury compensation claim.

The employer will also facilitate arrangements for the worker's next-of-kin to travel to Singapore, and to take his body home.

The MWC said it would keep in close contact with the hospital and employers in both cases, and will provide further updates if there are more developments.

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