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Singapore contractor ‘sorry’ for lapses that led to flooded junction

Coconuts logo Coconuts 1/12/2021 Coconuts Singapore
a group of people sitting at a table in front of a building: The flash flood on Aug. 20 along Tampines Avenue 10 and Pasir Ris Drive 12. Photo: Teo Chee Hean/Facebook The flash flood on Aug. 20 along Tampines Avenue 10 and Pasir Ris Drive 12. Photo: Teo Chee Hean/Facebook

Months after several vehicles became stuck in a flooded traffic junction, the construction company responsible has apologized for its carelessness – after losing in court.

Samwoh Corp. spoke out after being convicted yesterday of regulatory offenses for August’s massive flood at the Pasir Ris-Tampines traffic junction that stranded 13 vehicles and evacuated five people. 

“On behalf of Samwoh, I sincerely apologise for the errors that led to the Incident and the inconvenience caused to residents and motorists in the vicinity,” CEO Eric Soh said in a statement. “Samwoh management fully accepts the sentence imposed by the Court and is deeply humbled by this lapse in our standards.”

The company was fined S$17,000 for altering the drain, obstructing waterflow and doing unauthorized work. The project manager was fined S$7,500 for failing to obtain a clearance. 

Soh said the company, which has been around for 46 years, took immediate after-the-fact measures including raising drainage capacity, conducting a review and working closely with insurers to compensate those affected.

On the morning of Aug. 20, torrential rainfall sparked a flash flood of the junction between Tampines Avenue 10 and Pasir Ris Drive 12. 

The Public Utilities Board found that Samwoh had built a diversion drain along Tampines Avenue 10 without authorization which was not properly connected to an existing drain and therefore prevented rainwater from draining.

Cars, trucks and buses became trapped in the water, obstructing traffic and distressed drivers stranded in their vehicles.

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