JURONG SHIPYARD, SINGAPORE (BNO NEWS) — Close to 90 workers were injured Monday when part of an oil rig gave way at a shipyard in Singapore, making it one of the most serious workplace accidents in the history of the Asian city-state, local authorities said on Tuesday.
The accident happened at approximately 10:30 a.m. local time on Monday during a jacking test on board one of the jack-up rigs under construction at the Jurong Shipyard, which is a subsidiary of offshore engineering group and the world’s second-largest rig builder Sembcorp Marine Ltd.
A total of 89 people were injured in the accident, including one worker who was in a critical condition and 22 who were seriously injured. But only three workers remained hospitalized on late Tuesday, including two people at National University Hospital (NUH) and West Point Hospital.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said a preliminary investigation showed that one of the jacking mechanisms failed for the rig Noble Regina Allen which is berthed at the shipyard, causing the main hull of the rig to list to one side, leading to the accident. It said an investigation is continuing.
“MOM takes a very serious view of the accident – this is one of the worst industrial accidents we have seen in recent times,” said Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) for Manpower. “The priority now is to look after the injured and ensure that they receive the best care possible. It is also important to stabilize the situation at the work site and investigate the accident thoroughly to find out what went wrong.”
Following Monday’s accident, the Ministry of Manpower instructed all work to stop at the affected rig. “It remains for now, and I think it will take some time,” said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Tuesday after visiting the accident site. “The company is still assessing what should be the next steps in terms of rectifying the situation, so we’ll work closely with the company. For now, the stop-work order remains until we’re assured we can lift it.”
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