Only a couple of days after the Teck Ghee Square hawker centre was reopened following a two-month renovation, a photograph depicting a 70-year-old man sitting on the ground after falling from a chair made its rounds online on Sun (2 Jun).
Blood can be seen next to the elderly man as a result of the head injuries he had sustained, due to the chair having fallen apart from its base.
Another man is seen placing a tissue or a piece of cloth in an attempt to stop the bleeding on the elderly man’s head, as seen in the photograph posted by Ang Moh Kio resident Tan Paul via Facebook the same day:
The Straits Times reported the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as saying that a man was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital after it had received a call for medical assistance at Block 409 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 at around 11pm.
The man had sustained minor head injuries, ST learnt.
Responding to ST‘s queries, an Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) spokesperson said yesterday (3 Jun) that while it is unable to “establish the identity of the elderly man”, investigations are still ongoing and the Town Council is working “to reach out to his family members”.
The spokesperson added that inspections are currently being carried out on nearly 600 chairs throughout the hawker centre to ensure that they are secure and have fulfilled the standard safety requirements.
“Each seat is secured to the metal base using four screws as well as ‘max bond’ glue,” the spokesperson told ST.
The spokesperson also noted that the relevant contractor has been deployed at the hawker centre to “rectify any issues as well as to ensure that table and chairs are secure by the same day”.
Many netizens expressed their outrage over the lack of safety precautions and standards in assembling the hawker centre chairs, pointing out the absurdity in merely gluing the laminated seat onto the metal base instead of screwing it on:
Several netizens questioned AMKTC’s role in approving such sub-standard and hazardous work for public use, and even speculated as to whether the Town Council had properly inspected the work before the hawker centre was reopened:
A handful of netizens urged AMKTC to compensate the elderly man for his injuries, and have even suggested suing the Town Council over the incident in order to ensure that it will step up its efforts and prevent more of such cases in the future:
Several netizens took the opportunity to be humorous about the reportedly subpar renovation work: