SINGAPORE - With a loud snap that sounded "like thunder", a tower crane at the construction site of the National Art Gallery crumpled on Monday morning.
When the dust settled at the former City Hall, two foreign workers were dead and four others injured.
The accident took place in Supreme Court Lane while the crane was lifting an excavator.
The boom of the crane collapsed at about 10.50am, sending metal parts and concrete counterweights flying. One man was killed by the counterweights, and the other by the crane's hook assembly.
Workers said one of the deceased, 28-year-old Bangladeshi Ronju Ahmmed, had been with the company for six years. The other was a Thai national who was not named. One of them was trapped in scaffolding five storeys up, near the collapsed crane. His body was brought down by the Singapore Civil Defence Force using rescue ropes.
Two workers with head injuries were rushed to Singapore General Hospital. One of them, in his 40s, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, while Bangladeshi Imran Hasan Ahsan Ullah, 24, needed surgery. Another worker was under observation at Raffles Hospital, and a fourth was discharged.
Mr Norhisham Yussof, a 30-year-old driver who was at the Padang at the time, said he heard a loud crack "like thunder". He saw an excavator falling, followed by the crane that was lifting it. "When I turned my head, it was already on the way down," he said.
At the rooftop bar at the Fullerton Hotel, hotel guest Rachael Penman, 40, said she heard "a mighty snap", while another eyewitness saw workers scattering amid a cloud of dust.