Sunday, April 20, 2014

Remembering Nicoll Highway Collapse in 2004

Today is Easter Sunday, while there is a group people celebrating for the occasion, there is probably another group of people, mourning on this day.

Time flies... In a wink of time, the Nicoll Highway collapse incident had already past 10 years.  I would not call this an anniversary as this is a remembrance of an accident, a disaster...

10 years ago, when the incident happened, I am still working at Panasonic Industrial Asia Pte Ltd, on the 14th floor of the Concourse Office building.  I can still remember the details very clearly.  The incident happened while I was very engrossed in my work, then suddenly I realised the fluorescent lamp above me was flickering,  I can't help having a bad phenomenon.

The next thing I knew, there was a very loud thump sound which we all had not realised what had happened.  Then my colleague from other department called to check if we felt any vibration, and asked if there had been an earthquake. 

Colleague started to crowd around the window where we can have a very clear view along the Nicoll Highway...  I decided to join in the crowd and to my horror! There were big cracks on Nicoll Highway! And the crane fallen into the cracked path with some cars at the verge of falling into the cracked lanes.



When I realised what happened, the next thing that comes into my mind is to get in touch with my siblings who are working along the Nicoll Highway at that time.  My brother was working at Golden Mile Complex and sister, CF, was working at Gateway then. Tried calling my polymate, Celeste who worked in Suntec City too, but the phone just can't seemed to get through.  The phone network seems to get interrupted, phone calls can't get through and there were no SMS response from my siblings and friend.  You won't be able to imagine the anxiety of not able to get hold of them. 

It is only almost half hour later that I finally got in touch with my sibling and friend to to learn that all are sound and safe!  Brother was actually evacuate from the Golden Mile Complex and Sis and Celeste are much further from us and thus was not really affected, except for the telephone network and some temporary blackout.  However, not everyone were as lucky as us.  The accident took away 4 lives, among whom, is Mr Heng Yeow Peow, who will be remembered by all.

Instead of running for his own life, Mr Heng turned back to the construction site and made sure his eight co-workers got to safety first.  Eventually, his body was never recovered by the endangering rescuers.  His spirit in sacrificing himself for others, his selflessness, is greatly admired. 

RIP, Mr Heng Yeow Peow...


A recollection of the Nicoll Highway Collapse Incident:
The Nicoll Highway collapse was a construction accident that occurred on 20 April 2004, at approximately 3:30 p.m., when a tunnel being constructed for the underground Circle Line, near Nicoll Highway collapsed. The supporting structure for the deep excavation work failed, resulting in a 30-metre (100 ft) deep cave-in that spread across six lanes of Nicoll Highway. The collapse has caused four lives and three injuries and resulted in delay of the construction end date for the Nicoll Highway MRT station. (Reference from Wikipedia)



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