Foreign workers injured by collapsed flyover viaduct suffered fractures, injuries to head and abdomen

 Foreign workers injured by collapsed flyover viaduct suffered fractures, injuries to head and abdomen
Part of a flyover viaduct being constructed near Upper Changi Road East caved in the wee hours of Friday (July 14), killing one worker and injuring 10. Photo: Victor Loh/TODAY
Published: 11:00 AM, July 15, 2017
Updated: 8:49 PM, July 16, 2017

SINGAPORE — The 10 foreign workers hurt by the collapse of a part of a flyover viaduct being constructed at Upper Changi Road East suffered a range of wounds, including fractures and injuries to the head and abdomen, the project's main contractor said on Saturday (July 15).

On Sunday evening, a spokesperson for Or Kim Peow (OKP) Contractors said six workers remain warded at Changi General Hospital (CGH) — after a 22-year-old worker from Bangladesh was discharged from hospital on Sunday afternoon — with two of them still receiving treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU). 

One of the two workers in the ICU has regained consciousness, but remains under observation for fractures and an injury to his head. The second worker in the ICU is had his operation for injuries to his abdomen done on Sunday.  

The remaining five workers at CGH are being treated for fractures and back pain, OKP's spokesperson added. Three other workers were discharged earlier after receiving treatment and are on medical leave.

One worker — 31-year-old Chinese national Chen Yinchuan — was killed in Friday's accident.

The 11 workers were atop an elevated structure carrying out decking works for an uncompleted flyover. Preliminary investigations show that the corbels — stone structures on vertical columns that help to prop up horizontal beams that roads are laid on — underneath them suddenly gave way, sending them crashing down.

The workers involved in the accident, aged 22 to 49, are from Bangladesh, India and China. They are employees of OKP's subcontractors Tongda Construction & Engineering and Transit-Mixed Concrete. 

OKP said its representative has been visiting the injured workers and checking on their health conditions on a daily basis since the incident.  The Group also said it is continuing to provide all necessary assistance and support, including loss of income during their recovery period, to the workers affected in the accident.

OKP has yet to give an explanation for the cause of Friday's collapse, one of the worst construction accidents here since the 2004 Nicoll Highway collapse.

The company was on Tuesday dealt with in the courts for a separate workplace accident in 2015 that also claimed one worker’s life. Earlier this year, the firm was also blacklisted from January to April by the Ministry of Manpower for violations of workplace safety regulations.

All work at the site, which was to build a link between the Tampines Expressway (Changi) and the Pan Island Expressway towards Jurong, has been halted by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Ministry of Manpower for investigation and checks.

Meanwhile, a temporary bypass road to connect drivers from Upper Changi Road East to the Pan Island Expressway (Changi) in the aftermath of the construction accident will open at noon on Sunday (July 16) after a safety review, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.

The LTA had initially planned to open the temporary road on Saturday, but delayed it by a day due to wet weather conditions.

"Motorists are advised to drive carefully and follow the temporary signs on-site," LTA said in a statement on Sunday. "Investigations on the affected existing slip-road are still on-going. The temporary bypass road will remain in use until investigations and recovery works on the slip road are completed."

The structure being constructed was adjacent to the slip road from Upper Changi Road East to the PIE. Parts of the collapsed structure had spilled onto the slip road, making the slip road impassable, the LTA had said on Friday.

Full recovery works of the affected slip road was expected to take two days.