SINGAPORE - A 70-year-old woman who died after getting trapped under a SMRT bus outside AMK Hub on Saturday (Aug 19) morning used to take the same route to work every day for the last 10 years, a relative told The Straits Times.
The late Mariam Atom was pronounced dead by paramedics at 6.41am at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, after she was extricated from under the SMRT bus.
The Ang Mo Kio resident was on her way to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where she worked as a cleaner, her distant relative Nur Hidayah Abd Samat, 31, told ST.
"She is my mother-in-law's auntie, and they were very close. They talked every day and went out. My mother-in-law was her shopping buddy," she said.
"My mother-in-law is taking it the hardest," she said.
Madam Mariam leaves behind a son, four grandchildren, and a husband who is wheelchair-bound, Ms Hidayah said.
"She said as long as she's healthy, she would like to go to work."
Responding to some Facebook commenters who suggested that Madam Mariam was jaywalking, Ms Hidayah said a "fair statement can be given only when you know the full story".
She declined to comment or speculate on how the accident happened as police investigations are under way.
Madam Mariam was a strong person, who was also very nice and soft-spoken, said Ms Hidayah.
"She was a very bubbly person, and also very kind-hearted," she added. "To me, it's an innocent death."
Madam Mariam's body is at the mortuary at Singapore General Hospital, and the family can claim the body only on Sunday (Aug 20), Ms Hidayah said.
The police were alerted to the accident at 6.25am.
When the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived on the scene, they found her underneath the bus.
Officers extricated her using two airbags and hydraulic equipment, but she was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 6.41am.
The 65-year-old bus driver has been arrested for causing death by a negligent act.
SMRT vice-president for corporate communications Patrick Nathan told ST that SMRT is saddened by the accident.
"Our care team is doing its best to reach out to the family to provide necessary support during this difficult time," he said. "We are extending our full cooperation to the police for investigations into the accident."