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Engineer dies after stepping on false ceiling, falling 30m at CapitaSpring building

SINGAPORE — A 48-year-old Singaporean engineer died after falling seven floors to her death at mixed-use building CapitaSpring on Friday (April 8), having stepped on a false ceiling panel.

Engineer dies after stepping on false ceiling, falling 30m at CapitaSpring building

A view of CapitaSpring in Singapore’s Central Business District.

  • A 48-year-old Singaporean engineer died after falling seven floors to her death at office building CapitaSpring
  • She had stepped on a false ceiling panel which gave way under her weight, said the Ministry of Manpower
  • CapitaSpring, located near Raffles Place, had obtained its temporary occupation permit in November 2021
  • A CapitaSpring spokesperson said that they will fully corporate with authorities in investigating the incident

SINGAPORE — A 48-year-old Singaporean engineer died after falling seven floors to her death at mixed-use building CapitaSpring on Friday (April 8), having stepped on a false ceiling panel.

The engineer, who had been working on the maintenance level above the 16th floor of the  building, fell about 30m and landed on the ninth floor after the panel gave way under her weight, said a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesperson.

The ministry is investigating the accident, and has instructed Ascott International Management — which occupies the site — to stop all access to the maintenance level.

"As a general safety measure, fragile surfaces should be marked clearly and conspicuously to warn of the risk of falling from height," MOM added.

The engineer, who was employed by engineering and construction company Dragages Singapore, was pronounced dead at the scene by a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedic.

A SCDF spokesperson said it received a call for assistance at Block 88, Market Street, on April 8 at about 10.55am. The building is located at Raffles Place in the Central Business District.

TODAY has reached out to the Building and Construction Authority to ask if the panel was properly marked.

Ascott International Management is a wholly-owned lodging business by CapitaLand. CapitaLand is also the co-owner and developer of CapitaSpring.

According to CapitaSpring's website, the 51-story building has office floors, retail space, and a 299-unit service residence managed by Ascott. The building obtained its temporary occupation permit in November 2021 and also has a hawker centre.

A CapitaSpring spokesperson said in response to media queries that it is extending assistance to the engineer's family.

"Workplace safety is of utmost importance to us and we require all contractors and vendors to use appropriate equipment and follow safety procedures. We are giving our full cooperation to the authorities in their investigations of the incident,” said the spokesperson.

Posting about the incident on Saturday, NTUC assistant secretary-general Melvin Yong said on Facebook that he was deeply saddened by workplace fatality, and called for more specific measures to prevent similar accidents from happening.

"This is the 11th workplace fatality this year, and the incident follows several fall from height fatalities that happened last year," he wrote.

"It is important that, during the design for safety and design for maintainability stages of any construction work, the design team needs to consciously assess the need for facilities maintenance activities in the void areas above any false ceiling panels," said Mr Yong, who is also the Member of Parliament for Radin Mas Single Member Constituency.

Adding that false ceiling panels are not typically load-bearing, he said works done on these panels must incorporate safe catwalks and work platforms to prevent people from stepping on such panels.

In 2017, a 17-year-old died after falling four floors at a link bridge between Orchard Gateway and Orchard Central shopping malls. He had stepped on a decorative ledge which was not designed to carry people.

An inquiry later found that he had jumped over a 1.2m glass railing onto the ledge made out of non-load bearing plasterboard, which gave way under his weight.

Related topics

workplace safety SCDF MOM

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