Two public transit buses collided at low speed while negotiating a Singapore interchange station in Bukit Batok on Sunday evening. One of the buses was apparently pulling into the station while another was leaving. “The impact caused one of the buses to mount a curb and fall to its side,” said Bukit Batok member of parliament Murali Pillai.
It would seem that there is a bit more to the story, however, as the 65-year-old driver of the bus that collided into the one that fell was arrested and charged for “a rash act causing grievous hurt” according to a report from Coconuts Singapore.
Here is what went down according to the Singapore Civil Defence Force:
At about 5.05pm today, SCDF received a call for assistance at the aforementioned location.
Upon SCDF’s arrival, a passenger bus was found lying on its side. Eight persons were inside the bus while another nine were found outside the bus.
The rear windscreen of the bus which had shattered served as an entry point for SCDF rescuers. The rescuers created an additional point of entry at the front of the bus by using an electrical saw to cut through the front windscreen. Once inside, rescue equipment were used to cut several poles off so as to create space for the casualties to be rescued safely.
Two persons were carried off the bus on stretchers by SCDF rescuers. The remaining six persons were guided on foot out to safety.
SCDF’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel assessed a total of 17 persons for injuries. Eight were conveyed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, four to National University Hospital, and two to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The remaining three had minor injuries and refused conveyance to the hospital.
Based on the leaked closed circuit footage of the incident, a third driver was outside of his bus walking or standing in the path of the incident’s trajectory while on his break. As the falling bus tipped over, the man fell around 6 feet to the lower road surface. It looks as though the man fell on his head, and curled into a fetal position as a result of the shock. That curling could have saved his life, as seconds later the several ton bus came crashing down inches from where he was laying. The falling bus then hit the railing it had crashed through, flinging it into the fallen man’s head, adding injury to injury.
Apparently this footage was not released by any officials involved in the investigation, but has been circulated on Whatsapp before making its way to this Singapore bus fan Facebook page.
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While bus operation the rest of the night was not discontinued, it surely caused delays and rerouting inconveniences. The operation to get the fallen bus back onto its wheels and get it moving again took a pair of crane trucks and several hours of work. Once righted it appears the bus needed a bit of frame straightening to get mobile again, and it was pulled in opposite directions by the two cranes, before it was flat-towed away for repairs.
Everything about this story is wild from beginning to end. I definitely want to know the full story of not only what happened to cause a collision between two buses, but what happened thereafter which saw the bus continue moving forward until it fell. The arrested driver must have had malicious intent here, right? I suppose it could have been some kind of mechanical failure, but it seems the Singapore CDF may never release the full details.