Worker on third runway drowns

Local | Charlotte Luo 13 Aug 2019

A driver of a bulldozer drowned yesterday on his third day working at the reclamation site for the airport's third runway when the vehicle plunged into the sea.

The worker, Chung, 38, was operating a bulldozer at the construction site at Chek Lap Kok. The bulldozer fell into the sea with Chung still inside at 11.13am.

Divers spent around 15 minutes looking for Chung, after which he was rushed to hospital, but was certified dead at 1.50pm.

An Airport Authority spokesman expressed deep condolences to his family and said the authority will provide them with assistance.

The authority received a report that a bulldozer driver working on the third runway fell into the sea and immediately notified police.

The authority's Marine Traffic Control Center sent out a ship to lead rescue boats to the scene.

A spokesman for the Labour Department said staff were sent to the scene to investigate the accident.

"We commenced immediate on-site investigation as soon as we were notified of the accident and will issue suspension notices to the contractors suspending the use of load shifting machinery for land-filling work. The contractors cannot resume the work process until the department is satisfied that measures to abate the relevant risk have been taken," he said.

The Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims said the worker was the breadwinner of a family of five.

Chung and his wife have three children, with the youngest being only four years old. The family does not know what to do after his death.

A source who is familiar with the operation of bulldozer said the vehicle's brake is very sensitive. Once a driver steps on the brake, the bulldozer should come to a stop immediately.

The source said what could have happened was the worker drove the bulldozer to the slope next to the sea and he forgot to step on the brake when he panicked.

charlotte.luo@singtaonewscorp.com

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