Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/05/2012 00:15 | By Channel NewsAsia

Failed braking system caused rig to tilt: Sembcorp Marine

Failed braking system caused rig to tilt: Sembcorp Marine

Failed braking system caused rig to tilt: Sembcorp Marine

SINGAPORE: A failed braking system on one of the movable legs of a rig at the Jurong Shipyard had caused the structure to tilt, injuring 89 workers on Monday.

Sembcorp Marine gave this update as part of its early findings of investigations into the accident at the shipyard in Tanjong Kling Road.

The company said load tests were being carried out on the partially—constructed rig from last Saturday.

Before the incident happened, the legs of the rig were lodged firmly some three metres in the seabed and were able to take on the load testing.

The load tests went on for about 1.5 days with each of the three legs of the rig bearing a load of about 9,000 tonnes.

However, on Monday morning, the jacking unit of the forward leg slipped, causing the hull and the legs to tilt forward.

Sembcorp Marine said the priority now is to stabilise the structure. It is working closely with experts to get it back in an upright position.

Meanwhile, the Manpower Ministry said that most of the workers have been discharged while three are still being warded for minor injuries.

One of the workers warded in West Point Hospital has shin injury with hairline fracture.

Of the two warded at the Singapore General Hospital, one of the workers has swelling in one ankle while the other has swelling in both ankles. They are expected to be discharged over the next few days.

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan—Jin took a tour of the accident site at Jurong Shipyard on Tuesday to see first—hand the extent of the damage.

Mr Tan said: "The shipyard has assessed the situation and they feel the structure is stable as it is right now... they have sealed off the area so that in case anything untoward happens, there should be no cause of injuries to anyone in that area.

"So the priority right now is to take stock of how exactly you should rectify the physical situation on the ground and importantly to understand where the system did not work as it’s supposed to."

On Monday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) ordered all works at the affected rig to stop.

Mr Tan said Sembcorp Marine is still assessing what steps it should take next to rectify the situation.

He said the Manpower Ministry will work closely with the company.

He also said the next step is to investigate the cause of the incident and see what lessons can be learnt from it.

Investigators will look into areas such as the procedures and processes, and assess if they were effective and had been followed.

They will also find out why the braking mechanism did not work.

Mr Tan said the company has assured him that it will look after all the injured workers and take care of their medical expenses.

Sembcorp Marine said it is also focusing on helping the affected workers.

Mr Wong Weng Sun, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sembcorp Marine, said: "We have set up for them professional psychiatric services and we have also engaged the same services for group discussions and also for individual counselling for those who are still in the hospital."

The Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees’ Union said it is in touch with the company and workers to see how it can assist them.

It also urged Jurong Shipyard to ensure that such an incident will not happen again.

— CNA/de

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