Coroner: Crane accident a tragic misadventure

Coroner: Crane accident a tragic misadventure
A Chinese worker, Mr Liu Debao, fell 19 storeys to his death after being struck by a prefabricated structure hanging from a crane at a Sengkang construction site along Fernvale Street on 23 January 2014.

Construction worker Liu Debao, 40, was standing on the 19th storey of an unfinished Sengkang HDB block when a 7,660kg prefabricated structure carried by a tower crane crashed into him.

At first, the Chinese national was pinned against some wire mesh barricades at the side of the building at Fernvale Street.

When the barricades gave way, Mr Liu, who was from Shandong, an eastern Chinese province, fell to his death on Jan 23 last year.

State Coroner Marvin Bay said in his findings yesterday that his death was a "tragic misadventure".

He also said Ministry of Manpower (MOM) investigations indicated that the crane - a China-built Guohong QTZ250 - was in a satisfactory working condition.

But a momentary loose connection in the wiring of the crane's control unit may have triggered an "intermittent fault" in its operations.

ADVISORIES

Coroner Bay said: "I had earlier called for MOM to issue appropriate advisories to operators of tower cranes of the same design or manufacture, to forewarn of the possibility of a recurrence of the phenomenon described above."

Responding to queries from The New Paper, MOM said that there are nine Guohong QTZ250 cranes operating in five locations here. All nine have since been tested and certified safe for use.

Its spokesman said: "New installations of Guohong QTZ250 cranes have been suspended until the design of the crane control system has been reviewed."

With MOM's assistance, Mr Liu's family members have received a total of $170,000 in compensation under the Work Injury Compensation Act.


This article was first published on June 6, 2015.
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