Awards for good Samaritans who lifted truck to free man

Awards for good Samaritans who lifted truck to free man
Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Chua, head of operations at the 1st SCDF Division, taking a wefie with the 16 men and women who received awards for their public spiritedness yesterday, as well as 1st SCDF Division commander Alan Chow (left).
PHOTO: The Straits Times

He could have been crushed, but software engineer Asif Iqbal dove underneath a trailer truck anyway to pull a man to safety.

Even as he dragged Mr Kim Seong Mo away, he knew that the many hands straining to keep the vehicle up were giving way.

Mr Kim, 35, was run over by the truck last Wednesday and pinned under a back wheel.

About 30 good Samaritans joined forces to lift the vehicle, while Mr Asif and another man, Filipino design engineer Davide Dennis Cruz, crawled underneath to get him out.

"We realised then that the truck was starting to drop a little, I think the people lifting it were getting tired, so I quickly moved his leg to make sure it wouldn't get trapped again," said Mr Asif, 33, who is an Indian national and Singapore permanent resident.

"It was a dangerous incident, but in that moment everyone put aside their (everyday) stress and concerns to help this guy."

Yesterday, Mr Asif was among a group of 16 who were given awards by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for public spiritedness. The SCDF is still reaching out to the others who lent a hand.

A video of the incident - which happened at about 11.45am at the junction of Bendemeer and Boon Keng roads, has gone viral.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean, who shared a screenshot of the 87-second video on Facebook, said it was "truly heartwarming to see the Singapore spirit".

Said 1st SCDF Division commander Alan Chow, who presented yesterday's awards: "We are all very amazed by the feat - that about 30 of you came together, without any formal coordination, lifted the trailer truck and pulled out a person in distress underneath."

Mr Kim, an employee of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Seoul, was in Singapore on a business trip. He escaped with a fractured right leg, and is recovering at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He told Chinese paper Lianhe Wanbao that he was "very grateful" to those who saved him.

At the event at the 1st SCDF Division HQ yesterday, many award recipients arrived with their families.

Occupational therapist Lee Yuen Wan, 27, was there with her husband and two daughters. She saw the incident from her office window and phoned the SCDF. Said her husband Low See Lim, who works in construction: "I'm very proud of her. Usually on Sundays, we have a family outing, but we thought we would bring the whole family here today." Added Ms Lee: "Everyone chipped in. The most important thing was someone's life was in danger and he needed help."

This article was first published on July 27, 2015.
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