Singapore – A 33-year-old man travelling on the back of a lorry died after the vehicle collided with a stationary tipper truck on the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) on Tuesday (Apr 20). Another 16 migrant workers were injured in the accident.
The Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) took to Facebook on Tuesday to announce the accident involving a transport vehicle for migrant workers and a tipper truck along PIE towards Changi Airport before Jalan Bahar. The incident “resulted in the death of one migrant brother and left 16 others injured to various degrees,” said MWC.
The non-government organisation noted that it has been in contact with the employer of the affected workers, reported to be Bright Asia Construction, according to The Straits Times. MWC is working closely with them to provide the necessary assistance to the affected workers.
As of Tuesday evening, nine of the injured workers had been discharged from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries. Meanwhile, the remaining seven individuals are still warded, said MWC. Two of the seven workers are in the intensive care unit (ICU).
“For the affected workers, MWC will be working with the hospitals and employer to visit them and, most importantly, reassure them that we’re here to provide them with the necessary care and support.”
A video of the incident posted by SG Road Vigilante on Tuesday showed several men lying on the ground while Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers were deployed at the scene.
There were at least two ambulances and a fire engine present.
SCDF revealed that two workers were found trapped in the rear compartment of the lorry and were extricated using hydraulic equipment.
The passengers, aged between 23 and 46, were taken to National University Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
The police said that a 36-year-old male lorry driver was arrested for careless driving causing death.
“Workers put at risk when seated behind lorries without a seatbelt,” noted SG Road Vigilante in the caption. “Especially when these lorries fail to conform to the vehicle speed limit of 70 kph.”
In its post, MWC highlighted that the accident took place while the workers were en route to the worksite. “They should be protected under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA),” said MWC.
WICA is a low-cost and quicker alternative to the common law as it lets employees make claims for work-related injuries or diseases without having to file a civil suit under common law, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website.
“MWC will also be contacting the loved ones of the deceased to offer our sympathies as well as to extend interim financial assistance to the family as it will take some time for WICA to be paid out,” said MWC.
MOM’s Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) officers are working closely with MWC and the employer to take care of the affected workers’ well-being, added a MOM representative to ST.
MWC also announced that members of the public who wish to help the affected workers could do so through its charity arm, the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund (MWAF). MWAF is one of the few locally registered charities approved to provide financial support to overseas dependents of our migrant workers.
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