Downtown Line’s Bugis MRT Worksite Accident


Downtown Line’s Bugis MRT Worksite Accident Scaffolding Nicoll Highway Collapsed: SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower has issued preliminary investigations into the Downtown Line’s Bugis MRT worksite accident on Wednesday morning that left two workers dead and eight others injured.

For the Nicoll Highway collapse in 2004, four men faced criminal charges. The then LTA chief also had to take responsibility as CEO and was transferred to another ministry.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew admitted last week that his Ministry, the Land Transport Authority and SMRT Corporation have to shoulder their share of responsibility for the major train breakdowns last December.

The obvious example would be that, when SMRT told the LTA about the problem of the metal claws, the LTA merely advised SMRT to “monitor the situation” without any follow-up. Thus, both parties should be held accountable for the MRT breakdowns.

MOM said workers were pouring wet concrete into a mould – believed to be for the roof of a linkway joining the new station to the existing Bugis station – when the four-metre high structure they were working on collapsed.

Channel NewsAsia spoke to engineering experts who explained how the scaffolding could have collapsed.

The experts said that while pouring cement is a routine process in construction, workers still need to be careful and understand the hazards.

One expert said the material of the scaffolding must be carefully selected and erected by competent workers.

And in the design of the scaffolding, it is important to consider how much load each leg can withstand.

According to Professor Fan Sau Cheong from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University, wet concrete is 2.5 times heavier than water. So the wet concrete poured by the workers would have been almost as heavy as a swimming pool.

Jason Oh, chairman of health & safety engineering committee at The Institute of Engineers, Singapore, said: “The wet concrete itself does create movement in the structure. Some of the concrete is quite substantial in big volume. So that actually creates a lot of loadings. So if concrete is being poured in a particularly location without spreading the load, that will create point loads and that may endanger some of the design parameters.”

Engineers also said Wednesday’s accident cannot be compared to the Nicoll Highway incident in 2004, where a retaining wall at the Circle Line MRT worksite gave way, claiming four lives. via Channel News Asia