Crane boom at Ridout Road bungalow site snaps; no one hurt in incident

SINGAPORE – For nearly two weeks, a tower crane and its broken load-bearing arm loomed over the posh landed residential estate near Holland Road – home to sprawling bungalows and embassy buildings.

Engineers are now finalising plans on how the damaged crane at the construction site of a two-storey bungalow at 35 Ridout Road can be safely removed.

Work to do so is expected to start Tuesday.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it was alerted to an incident involving the damaged tower crane on Aug 24 and sent investigators to inspect the site the same day.

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It also ordered the occupier to stop all lifting works on the site immediately and the affected area was barricaded to prevent unauthorised access.

A MOM spokesman told The Straits Times the condition of the crane does not pose a danger to residents or workers. Measures had also been taken to provide additional support to the damaged portion.

“The main part of the collapsed crane is resting on the ground. The occupier had taken additional measures to stabilise the crane which includes providing additional support to the damaged portion,” added the spokesman.

Nobody was hurt in the incident and investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of the crane boom failure, said the ministry.

When The Straits Times visited the area on Sunday (Sept 3), residents recalled a loud sound at the construction site the evening of Aug 23.

Mr Mohamed Rafi, 35, a security guard working at a nearby house, added: “I didn’t leave my post to check on it, but later I noticed that the crane (had been damaged) while leaving to go home.”

He added that the work site has been quiet since the incident.

According to the project board displayed outside the site, a two-storey bungalow with a basement and swimming pool is being built at the location.

The developers of the site, Soon Hock Property Development, did not respond to queries by the Straits Times when contacted.

An independent professional engineer had inspected the crane and assessed that it was stable and recovery work is scheduled to start on Tuesday (Sept 5).

A crane recovery plan is being finalised. However the operation is made more complex because it involves a tower crane, said MOM.

“This is due to the structural configuration of the tower crane in which the main support structure comprises a single mast. Hence, careful considerations need to be made to ensure the overall stability of the crane during the recovery work.”

In 2015, it was reported that the 73,280 sq ft property at 35 Ridout Road was sold for $ 91.68 million or $ 1,251 psf.

The property had been the family home of the late property investor Chow Cho Poon, who died in 1997.

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