More than 100 large concrete slabs from a construction site came toppling down onto Gilstead Road early on Sunday Morning. Though no one was injured, the pile of 1m by 0.5m, 21/2-tonne slabs made the two-lane road impassable.
No one was injured in the incident, which happened just after 8am. But the pile of 1m by 0.5m, 21/2-tonne slabs made the two-lane road impassable.
The vibrations caused by the crashing concrete also led to a gas leak from a nearby pipe. But SP PowerGrid managed to repair the gas valve quickly, and gas supply to the area’s residents was not affected.
In a statement, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the concrete slabs collapsed during a pile load test. Such a test is meant to determine the carrying capacity of a pile, which is the column of wood or steel or concrete driven into the ground to provide support for a structure.
The slabs had been stacked on top of one another to a height of about 12m. It is unclear what caused the incident but the MOM is investigating. All pile load tests at the site have been stopped.
Residents living nearby said they heard loud explosions and their apartments shook from the rumble.
One of them was Shingis Madakhmetov, who is from Kazakhstan, and lives at Evelyn Mansions.
He said the concrete blocks were on a metallic platform and that it had apparently given way.
He said the incident took place next to two churches that conduct services every Sunday.
“The noise woke me up; my initial reaction was that something exploded,” he said.
“I thought it was a big explosion or something.I looked out of my window and just saw blocks spilling on the street and just lots of smoke or dust coming out.
“Usually there are cars being parked along that street; luckily this morning, there were no cars. It was early enough and not many people were walking along that street, but a lot of people do.
“When the thing broke down and the concrete blocks fell on the street, it took out a pretty large area and it could have taken some lives.”
Police said some residents and church-goers from the nearby Life Bible-Presbyterian Church were also evacuated for safety reasons.
The affected area has also been cordoned off.
Residents said that’s a problem for pedestrians who frequently use it to get to nearby Newton MRT Station.
“It’s the shortest way to the MRT and I am feeling very unsafe now using this road, until the construction place is really safe. It’s more of the safety which concerns me,” said Uwe Hornik, a resident at [email protected]
Others are concerned about a possible traffic congestion as the work week resumes today.
Some residents said they had noticed that the pile of concrete blocks were slanting to one side since about a week ago.
Authorities said clean-up operations are expected to take about two days to complete. Check out the video on the Gilstead road scare.
Source: straitstimes, channelnewsasia, stomp