Six food kiosks at Changi's T2 closed after vehicle hits pillar

THE shutters are down at six food kiosks in the transit hall of Changi Airport's Terminal 2 after a vehicle used to tow planes rammed into an outside pillar one floor down early yesterday morning.

It is believed that the driver is a Singaporean and working for SIA Engineering. He has been treated for minor injuries following the first such incident at Changi.

Chinta Manis, Delifrance, Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert, Robin's Chicken, Sakae Sushi and Wang Cafe will be closed - possibly for a few weeks - until the pillar is repaired.

The affected area is about 900 sq m, Changi Airport Group spokesman Ivan Tan said in response to queries from The Straits Times. There is no safety risk to travellers and visitors, and no impact on flight operations either, he added.

Engineers who assessed the damage at the site found no immediate risk to the overall structure of the building.

Said Mr Tan: "The food kiosk section, which is located just above the pillar, has been closed as a safety precaution and to facilitate repair works."

On whether the food stations will be relocated or tenants compensated, he said: "We are in discussions with the operators with regard to the impact of the closure on their business but are not able to share details."

Legal experts said that affected tenants could expect some form of compensation - a rent freeze, for example.

In such cases, the normal practice would be for Changi Airport Group to claim damages from SIA Engineering, they said.

A police report has been filed and Changi Airport Group is investigating the cause of the accident, Mr Tan said.

SIA Engineering could not be contacted for comment.

While the cause is not yet known, the incident is likely to draw attention to the need for manpower development in aviation, among other investments called for by industry experts as the sector expands aggressively in the Asia-Pacific.

Said an industry executive who did not want to be named: "When workers are stretched, fatigue sets in. In this case, the accident happened at 4am. The investigations will no doubt look into all factors before a finding is made."

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