Family raises questions over Indian worker’s death in Singapore

Family raises questions over Indian worker's death in Singapore

SINGAPORE: The relatives of a 23-year-old Indian construction worker, who died in an accident at his workplace in Singapore early this month, have sought an explanation from the authorities over the conditions under which the tragedy happened, said a media report on Sunday. Ponraman Eazhumalai, who worked in Singapore only for eight months as a concrete pump assistant, died on December 2 after he was caught between the chassis of a concrete pump truck and a retracting outrigger at the worksite for the upcoming Tengah integrated rail and bus depot at 770 Jurong Road, reported The Straits Times.
Outriggers are retractable legs that extend out and away from a concrete pump to provide stability and prevent it from tipping over.
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the fatal accident occurred at about 11.20 pm on December 2.
Even though the family members of the deceased were apprised of the incident, they are not being told by the government authorities what injuries he exactly had.
Two of the uncles of the deceased, who work in Singapore, said his family in Tamil Nadu has been devastated by his death.
Following the incident, the family has raised questions about the accident, which they hope the authorities will look into, said the report.
“Why wasn’t an ambulance called, and why didn’t they take him to the nearest hospital? His life could have been saved,” they said.
The uncles said they believed the injury was not serious when they were alerted that same night, but in less than 24 hours, their nephew was dead.
The nearest hospital to the accident site was Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, a five- to 10-minute drive away.
Eazhumalai, who had a diploma in mechanical engineering from India, was the only breadwinner in the family.
In response to queries over the death, MOM said that as a general safety measure, workers should keep a safe distance from construction equipment and machinery, such as concrete pump trucks and mobile cranes, while they are in operation.
A safety zone should also be clearly marked out to prevent unauthorised access.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA), the developer of the Tengah Depot project, said it was saddened by the fatal accident.
The LTA said that it is working with the main contractor and TMC Concrete Pumping Services to help the family of the worker who died.
“We are also assisting the Ministry of Manpower and the police with their investigations,” the daily quoted LTA as saying.
The police, who were alerted to the case on December 3, said that based on preliminary investigations, no foul play is suspected.

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