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Five individuals and Or Kim Peow Contractors charged in court in connection with Changi viaduct collapse

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Five individuals and Or Kim Peow Contractors were charged in court on Wednesday for their role in the collapse of the Upper Changi Pan Island Expressway viaduct.

FIVE individuals and Or Kim Peow Contractors were charged in court on Wednesday for their role in the collapse of the Upper Changi Pan Island Expressway viaduct.

The incident which happened last July resulted in the death of Chinese worker Chen Yinchuan, 31, while 10 others were hurt - two seriously.

The five men, along with the main contractor for the project, faced charges under the Building Control Act and the Workplace Safety and Health Act for the accident.

The Acts come under the Building and Construction Authority and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), respectively.

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Or Kim Peow Contractors group managing director Or Toh Wat was charged with two counts under the Building Control Act, and one count under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The company also faces similar charges, and along with Or, is accused of failing to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of employees by not conducting sufficient risk assessments on the corbels - support structures - even after becoming aware of cracks on them.

Or and the local construction firm are also accused of conducting unapproved strengthening works to the structure's corbels.

Investigations revealed a 40m section of the viaduct had given way, with preliminary findings pointing to corbels breaking under the weight of wet concrete.

Post-incident checks also revealed cracks at 11 other locations along the viaduct.

Leong Sow Hon, 60, a top executive from Calibre Consulting Singapore that was the accredited checker of the project, also faced two charges under the Building Control Act.

The qualified person from subcontractor CPG Consultants, Robert Arianto Tjandra, 44, who approved the design and supervision of the construction works for the project, faced five charges under both Acts - the highest among those charged.

Project engineer Wong Kiew Hai and project director Allen Yee, both from Or Kim Peow Contractors, were charged with various counts under the Acts. Wong alone faces one charge under the Workplace Safety and Health Act and one charge under the Penal code.

Sentences range from jail terms and fines of up to $200,000.

The case has been adjourned for July 11. District Judge Christopher Goh set a bail of $20,000 for Yee and Wong, and $50,000 for Ariano Tjandra.

THE STRAITS TIMES