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SCDF concluded search operation at tragic Tanjong Pagar building collapse which claims a worker’s Life

SINGAPORE —  The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officially concluded their search operation at a demolition site in Tanjong Pagar at around 8:00 a.m. on Friday (16 June).

BCA has instructed the project parties to stop all construction activities and will revoke the permit for all works while investigations are ongoing.

Nearly eight hours after the incident, in which a building in Tanjong Pagar collapsed on the afternoon of June 15, 2023, SCDF recovered the body of a missing Indian national worker at 9:45 p.m.

The worker was found trapped under the wreckage with no signs of life.

In the latest update on SCDF’s official Facebook page, the SCDF mentioned that they continued to search through the collapsed structure with the help of heavy machinery from the construction site.

They confirmed that there are no other individuals trapped beneath the debris.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of the worker who passed on yesterday. ”

“We would like to thank the SPF, BCA, and MOM for their assistance and close ground coordination which facilitated SCDF’s entire search operation.”

Earlier yesterday afternoon, all other workers from the worksite had been accounted for, and none of them had reported being injured.

Police investigating the death of the 20-year-old Indian worker

Police investigations into the unnatural death of the 20-year-old worker are still ongoing.

After reviewing CCTV footage, the SPF and SCDF found no evidence of any other individuals being trapped under the structure.

The incident occurred at a construction site in Tanjong Pagar, when part of a building structure collapsed, leaving one worker unaccounted for.

The structure, part of the Fuji Xerox Towers, adjacent to the M Hotel, was in the process of being demolished to make way for a new mixed-use development called Newport Plaza when the collapse occurred at approximately 2 pm local time.

SCDF was promptly alerted about the incident. SCDF officers from the 1st SCDF Division and Marina Bay Fire Station, along with rescuers from the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), rushed to the scene.

At approximately 6 p.m., the search and rescue teams discovered the worker pinned beneath the wreckage of the collapsed reinforced concrete structure, approximately 2m below the surface.

Rescue workers faced significant challenges as they had to cut, break, and dig through the rubble. However, their efforts were further complicated by the immense weight of the concrete slab, which was estimated to be at least 50 tonnes.

The casualty was finally freed after nearly four hours around 9.45 pm. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.

BCA and MOM ordered the project parties to stop all work

In a joint statement released on Thursday night, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) shed light on the cause of the tragic incident.

According to the statement, a reinforced concrete wall measuring approximately 10m in length and 3.8m in height collapsed onto the street during the ongoing demolition process.

“BCA has instructed the project parties to stop all construction activities and will revoke the permit for all works while investigations are ongoing. MOM has also instructed the employer of the worker to stop all works at the site.”

The statement added that the rest of the building has been assessed to be stable and there are no concerns over its structural integrity.

It stated that Woh Hup, the occupier of the work site, and Aik Sun Demolition and Engineering, the employer of the worker, were directly associated with the operations at the site.

Commenting on the incident, a spokesperson of City Developments Limited, the developer of Newport Plaza, said, “We share our deepest condolences with the family for their loss and are working with Aik Sun to offer our assistance.

“We are grateful for the swift response from the Police, SCDF, including DART rescuers, the search canines, and medical personnel who were deployed to the site for emergency response.”

The spokesperson added, “Our immediate priority is the well-being of the affected workers, and we are working closely with our contractors to provide the necessary support. Workplace safety is of paramount importance and we are cooperating fully with the authorities for a thorough investigation.”

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