Two killed in separate workplace accidents

The body of the dead man being carried out of the Bedok South Road premises. The owner of Ng Kian Seng Confectionery died after he fell into a dough-making machine while preparing red bean paste. Investigations under way at Thyme Food and Services on
Investigations under way at Thyme Food and Services on the seventh floor of Food Xchange @ Admiralty yesterday. The director of the catering firm said the dead woman had helped with bookkeeping and procurement.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The body of the dead man being carried out of the Bedok South Road premises. The owner of Ng Kian Seng Confectionery died after he fell into a dough-making machine while preparing red bean paste. Investigations under way at Thyme Food and Services on
The body of the dead man being carried out of the Bedok South Road premises. The owner of Ng Kian Seng Confectionery died after he fell into a dough-making machine while preparing red bean paste. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Woman, 58, killed in cargo hoist accident; man, 73, dies after falling into dough machine

Two people died in separate workplace accidents at food preparation facilities yesterday.

In one, a 58-year-old woman working for Thyme Food and Services, a catering company, was killed in an accident involving a cargo hoist at the company's manufacturing facility in Admiralty.

In the other, the 73-year-old owner of a confectionery in Bedok died after he fell into a dough-making machine.

According to Thyme, the cargo hoist is used to transport goods inside the unit occupied by the firm, on the seventh-floor roof of Food Xchange @ Admiralty, a strata-titled food manufacturing facility.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said they responded to an incident at 8A Admiralty Street at about 4.10pm. A woman was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic, a spokesman said.

An employee at a neighbouring unit, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times her colleague had helped to move a decapitated body after an incident involving a "lift" inside the unit used by the catering company. The body was removed from the unit at around 8.30pm.

Mr Lawrence Hee, 44, a director of the catering company, said the dead woman helped with bookkeeping and procurement and was very responsible, often going beyond the call of duty.

She had previously worked for Mr Hee's wellness company for seven years, but joined the catering firm after she was made redundant two years ago. She was married with children and grandchildren, he said.

Mr Hee said that he did not know what she was doing near the cargo hoist in the kitchen. "She would really watch your back and go beyond her normal duties. She shouldn't be anywhere near the hoist, but she went to help with something when the accident happened," he said.

Choking back tears, he said: "She and her husband were very close... I will need to face the family and offer them whatever support they need."

In a separate accident, Mr Ng Sew Kuang, the owner of Ng Kian Seng Confectionery in Bedok South Road, died after he fell into a dough-making machine while preparing red bean paste.

Workers who noticed a burning smell coming from the machines on the second storey were shocked to find Mr Ng in the machine.

A police spokesman said that they were alerted at 3.06pm, and a 73-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

One of the workers identified the victim as her boss. In a feature on the confectionery in 2014, The Straits Times identified him as Mr Ng Sew Kuong.

The woman, who declined to be named, said: "No one was around him when the incident took place, but a strong burning smell made us suspect something was wrong."

Madam Zhu Xiao Wei, who works at the beauty salon next to the bakery, said Mr Ng's daughter rushed into her salon to ask her to call for an ambulance.

Madam Zhu said she had known Mr Ng for about seven years. "Being neighbours, we talked all the time. He was a very warm person, and everyone here knew him," she said.

The bakery, started by Mr Ng's paternal grandfather more than 70 years ago, is known for its traditional goodies, such as tau sar piah and wife cakes.

•Additional reporting by Charmaine Ng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2018, with the headline 'Two killed in separate workplace accidents'. Print Edition | Subscribe