Crater filled and water supply restored
Tessa Wong
Mon, May 26, 2008
The Straits Times

WHEN Cornwall Gardens resident Holly Amiri returned home on Saturday night after a week-long holiday, she was shocked to see her quiet street transformed into a busy construction site.

Men in hard hats were furiously filling in a 3m-deep crater in the road, the result of a Saturday morning cave-in. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that underground tunnelling work on the upcoming Circle Line had loosened soil on that stretch.

The accident, which did not leave anyone injured, cut off the water supply for at least four homes. One home also lost phone, Internet and cable television links.

Mrs Amiri, an American housewife in her 50s, said: 'I tried to turn the tap on and nothing came out. Then my neighbour told me what happened.

'I got on the phone with my husband and told him, 'Guess what, we're living over a sinkhole.''

The water supply was restored by yesterday morning, but telecommunication lines had yet to be fixed when The Straits Times visited the scene in the afternoon.

The crater had been filled, and workers had dug two holes to fix the telecommunication problem.

Residents who had moved out temporarily have been trying to return to their homes and cope with the disruption.

The Sperlings, who live at No.14 and were put up at the Shangri-La Hotel over the weekend, wanted to check out yesterday.

However, they were told by the LTA to stay put until tomorrow. That is when the LTA hopes to finish repairs and reopen the road.

But that did not deter housewife Jane Sperling from returning home briefly twice yesterday to check on the water supply and pick up extra clothes for her family.

Residents are resigned over the disruption, but take comfort in the LTA's round-the-clock efforts to fix the situation.

Despite the fact that she had moved into her home just six months ago, Mrs Sperling said she was not angry about the incident.

'I think this was something they couldn't control,' she said, giving LTA the thumbs-up for being responsive and helpful.

Just across the road at No.15, the Chesters were preparing to move back into their home.

The family of five had spent the night with relatives who live in the nearby Holland Road area.

Mr Julian Chester, a 36-year-old banker, had witnessed the crater forming on Saturday morning when he stepped out for an early morning jog. The initial hole quickly expanded to twice its size before his eyes.

'Bits of the road were just falling into it. The hole was full of water gurgling along.

'It was quite scary. It was huge,' he said.

Like the Sperlings, his family has been provided with a hired car as the crater has marooned their vehicle in the driveway.

'The hole has been a bit inconvenient, but I guess there's nothing we can do about it,' said Mr Chester with a shrug.

When asked about the possibility of another crater developing in the area, the LTA said it was unlikely.


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