The body of the man caught in an excavator pinned under debris at a worksite along Thomson Road was removed from the site in a police vehicle at about 3.20pm. Eight family members who declined to speak to the media exited the area soon after.
A construction worker who did not want to be named said he found the site to be "safe" and added that about three to four workers were carrying out demolition works for about a month at the site, he added.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said a concrete slab had been pinning down the cabin where the operator was in.
The site, opposite Novena Church, used to house a row of shops including the famous Wee Nam Kee Hainanese chicken rice eatery and a Penang food restaurant, as well as apartments. It is being developed by the Fragrance Group into a four-storey residential and commercial development called Novena Regency.