43-tonne mobile crane crashes into POSB branch
Vehicle goes out of control while making turn at Admiralty Road
Housewife Pamela Soriano, who lives on the third storey of Block 2A, Woodlands Centre Road, woke up with a start when she felt the four-storey HDB block shaking at about 6.45am yesterday.
"I thought there was an earthquake and told my husband, who said it was probably nothing," she said.
"It was only later, when he was leaving for work, that he opened the door and saw a lot of people standing around.
"Then we saw the crane."
A mobile construction crane had gone out of control while making a turn at the junction of Admiralty Road and Woodlands Centre Road.
The crane toppled onto its side and slid down a short flight of steps before crashing through the brick wall of a POSB branch at Block 2A.
The New Paper understands that the driver of the 43-tonne crane was turning left from Admiralty Road to Woodlands Centre Road when he lost control and caused the vehicle to tip over.
No one was injured but a bicycle and a motorcycle were crushed under the crane.
The driver, a 36-year-old Singapore permanent resident, managed to open the door of his cabin and was helped out by passers-by.
Resident Lim Meng Teck, 61, said: "Luckily, the accident happened early in the morning. The bank usually gets busy at about 9am and if it had happened then, I think people could have been injured."
The owner of the wrecked motorcycle, 58-year-old Malaysian Yap Khoi Fat, had parked next to the bank before going for breakfast at the nearby food centre.
The chemical factory worker told The Straits Times Online: "There were also other motorcycles parked there but only mine was dragged under the crane when it fell.
"It's completely flattened now and I probably can't get it back. I don't think I can have it repaired."
Auxiliary police officers were seen removing cash cassettes from the ATMs outside the bank, reported Shin Min Daily News.
About 10 employees of Hua Tiong Asia, which owns the crane, could be heard discussing how to best retrieve the crane. They declined to comment when approached.
As of midnight, the crane had yet to be removed.
It was later removed around 2.30am after being winched onto a trailer.
The driver has been arrested and is assisting in police investigations.
Several residents said the junction is an accident-prone spot.
A woman whose third-storey flat overlooks the junction said: "In the four years that I've lived here, I have seen at least three accidents involving heavy vehicles. But this crash is the worst."
The resident, who wanted to be known only as Madam Tan, added: "I don't know if it's because Admiralty Road is sloping downwards and some people drive quite fast."
Sales assistant Hussein Ahmad, 71, who also lives in Block 2A, said he nearly got into an accident at the junction a few years ago.
"I tried to make a turn but couldn't slow down in time because of the downhill slope on Admiralty Road, so I swerved and nearly hit a car on Woodlands Centre Road," he said.
In a statement to TNP, a spokesman for DBS, which manages POSB bank, said it was assessing the damage to the Woodlands Centre branch, which will remain closed for the time being.
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said it conducted an inspection of the building yesterday morning.
The crane had damaged a part of a brick wall at the POSB branch and part of a linkway.
While the structural integrity of the building has not been affected, the BCA has asked the Housing Board to carry out a detailed investigation and to repair the damage.
The affected areas have been cordoned off in the interest of public safety.