SINGAPORE: One worker has died while another is missing after a temporary scaffolding used for the construction of the new Downtown Line (DTL) Bugis Station subway link roof slab gave way.
Eight other workers were injured and were sent to the nearby Raffles Hospital before rescuers arrived. They had minor injuries, and four of them have since been discharged.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the incident happened at about 6.50am.
The scaffolding structure was about four metres high. The area affected is localised, measuring about five metres by 10 metres. The entire DTL Bugis station is about 7,500 square metres.
The eight workers who were injured were working on top of the structure.
LTA engineers and personnel are at the site to assist SCDF and the Police to manage the situation.
The LTA said the DTL Bugis station structure is substantially complete and structurally sound, and that the incident poses no risk to surrounding developments and the public.
LTA engineers are checking similar scaffolding structures at all its worksites to ensure they are safe.
The LTA has added that it will do whatever it can to assist the family of the worker who died in the incident.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the tunnel is about three to four metres deep.
The SCDF said his body was found submerged in wet cement and was pressed down by wooden planks in the work area, which was 15 metres deep.
It said the rescue operation is a "race against time" — before the wet cement hardens.
SCDF personnel are pumping in water to ensure that the cement stays wet so that they can remove the body, and are also cutting through planks and scaffolding to try to reach the body.
The area which the accident happened is a link way connecting the new DTL station and Bugis station.
The SCDF stressed that the tunnel is still intact and that the existing Bugis station is not affected.
40 SCDF personnel are involved in the search and rescue operation. A Channel NewsAsia reporter added that two search dogs have been sent to the underground site.
The SCDF could not confirm if the second missing person is still alive.
Its rescuers know where he is likely to be but have not been able to reach him yet.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has ordered all construction work to stop.
It said that based on preliminary information gathered, workers were pouring concrete, also known as the casting process, into the formwork when the structure supporting the formwork collapsed.
The formwork, located between the new and old sections of Bugis MRT Station, was part of the structure being built to form the underground linkway.
The project is a joint venture between Soletanche—Bachy and Koh Brothers.
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