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Singapore, June 16 – The body of a 20-year-old Indian national, who died after a part of a building collapsed in Singapore, was pulled out of the rubble in rescue operations lasting for more than six hours, a media report said.
The Indian worker was pinned under two meters of debris after part of the Fuji Xerox Towers building in Tanjong Pagar collapsed on Thursday during demolition works, The Straits Times reported.
The weight of the concrete slab, estimated to be at least 50 tonnes, complicated the rescue efforts, which involved cutting, breaking and digging through the rubble.
The body was recovered at about 9.45 p.m. local time on Thursday.
“Following an intensive search operation, a worker who was earlier reported missing was sighted to be pinned under a collapsed reinforced concrete structure at about 6 p.m. The worker had no pulse and was not breathing,” The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a statement.
SCDF officers arrived at the site earlier in the day after being alerted to the incident at about 2 p.m.
Eleven emergency vehicles and 70 officers were deployed to find the worker, including firefighters, rescue workers and emergency medical workers.
The worker was the employee of Aik Sun, the firm which was carrying out the demolition works.
A representative from Aik Sun told The Times that it needed time to find out what caused the collapse.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA), in a joint statement earlier on Thursday night, said a reinforced concrete wall on the second storey — measuring about 10m long and 3.8m high — collapsed onto the street during demolition.
“BCA (Building Construction Authority) has instructed the project parties to stop all construction activities and will revoke the permit for all works while investigations are ongoing. MOM has also instructed the employer of the worker to stop all works at the site,” the MOM statement read.
It added that the rest of the building has been assessed to be stable, and there are no concerns over its structural integrity.
Demolition firm Aik Sun said in a Facebook post, which now stands deleted, that the structural demolition of Fuji Xerox Towers began in February 2022.
Office workers in the area said they felt tremors when the building structure collapsed.