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Collapse at Fusionpolis Building Construction Site

 

 

Background

 

On 29 April 2004, Alexandra Fire Station was activated to respond to a construction worksite accident at Ayer Rajah Avenue, where the basement construction for Fusionpolis, a high tech township, was undergoing.

 

Description of Operations

 

1 fire engine and 1 Red Rhino (PL121, LF121) from Alexandra Fire Station, 1 rescue tender (RT411) from Jurong Fire Station, 2 RDART from DART Base, Special Rescue Battalion (SRB), and six ambulances rushed to the scene. As the responders made their way in, an ominous scenario unfolded as dozens of construction workers were rushing out from the incident site with blood on their workclothes, with some seen writhing in pain on the grass verge.

 

The paramedics" task was clear but the rescuers were presented with a scene of cavernous proportions as thousands of steel reinforcement bars had collapsed and crashed upon the workers below in a 50m by 50m wide area that was 30m below ground level. The only access route was a treacherous lattice of scaffolding ladders.

 

At the site, rescuers spotted two trapped workers under a heap of reinforcement bars. An immediate tactical decision was made to release the trapped workers and to identify the location of the other trapped casualties.

 

Immediate treatment of the injured and stabilization of injured workers at ground level was conducted. Safety and stability issues at site were also assessed. The rescue operation at the site required a careful and delicate approach as the matrix of steel bars required manual removal.

 

A total of 29 casualties were rescued, attended to by the ambulance crew and later conveyed to hospital, whilst 2 fatalities were recovered. Amongst these, a conscious trapped worker, whose thigh was pierced through by a steel rod, was extricated by DART within three hours. An unconscious trapped worker under a heap of twisted metal was extricated within five hours. The search and rescue operation lasted 14 hours.