Time has not healed the pain

Time has not healed the pain
Family members and relatives of the fourth victim, Mr Heng Yeow Peow, 40, the missing foreman, gathered at the scene of the Nicoll Highway collapse to pay their respects after the search and rescue effort was called off.

Today marks exactly 10 years since the Nicoll Highway collapse.

At 3.30pm on April 20, 2004, one of the worst construction accidents in Singapore's history claimed four lives.

The supporting scaffolding and structure around the deep excavation for the Circle Line collapsed. It resulted in a 30m-deep cave-in that spread across six lanes of the highway.

The tragedy is deeply-etched in the minds of many Singaporeans.

None more so than the families of the men who died, like the wife and children left behind by construction foreman Heng Yeow Peow.

Dubbed Hero Heng by this paper, the father of two children then aged 10 and 8, lost time to escape while urging his eight co-workers to get out. He and his team were at the bottom of the tunnel that was being built.

When The New Paper visited the Heng family at their four-room flat in Tampines this time last year, his widow, Madam Poa Beng Hong, revealed that time has not been the best salve and the grief is still raw.

Her late husband's "hero" status is cold comfort to her.

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