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Photo: SCDF/Facebook

SINGAPORE: Part of a highway structure under construction at Upper Changi Road East collapsed early Friday morning, killing a 31-year-old worker from China and injuring 10 others.

The cause of the collapse is unclear, and the police said investigations are ongoing.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they were alerted at 3.35am to the incident, which is at a slip road into Pan Island Expressway (PIE) towards the Changi Airport. About 60 SCDF officers, including members from the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), as well as SCDF K9 dogs, conducted a three-hour search and rescue operation.

At 6.45am, the SCDF said all workers at the site had been accounted for. It is unclear how many workers were at the site during the accident, or the extent of the injuries of those affected.

The injured, who worked for subcontractor Tongda Construction & Engineering, were taken to the Changi General Hospital. Tongda's managing director Gu Yuan Hua told TODAY the injured workers were from Bangladesh and China.

Two of them were seen at the hospital's Accident and Emergency section at around 8am, one with an ankle injury and the other abrasions on his hand. They told TODAY that they had been working on an extra late shift.

A hospital spokesperson said seven of the 10 injured workers had to be admitted for treatment, though none of them are in a critical condition. One of them has been discharged, while doctors are reviewing the conditions of another two workers.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) released a media statement regarding the accident, saying "a section of the viaduct structure between two piers collapsed at the worksite where the new road viaduct from TPE (Changi) to PIE (Westbound) is being constructed". It added that the contractor was carrying out works to cast the decking for the new viaduct.

"For the safety of motorists, the slip road was closed to traffic while the works were being carried out. The collapsed structure spilt onto the slip road, making the road impassable," the LTA continued in the statement, saying that it has begun safety investigations into the cause of the accident "to see if there are any lapses or gaps we would need to address urgently".

A sign listing the official details of the construction project described it as a viaduct from the Tampines Expressway to the PIE (Westbound) and Upper Changi Road East. CPG Consultants is listed as the professional engineer for the project, while Or Kim Peow Contractors is listed as the builder.

The project was expected to be completed on November 22, 2019. -- TODAY ONLINE

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