TL;DR – Every fatality is one too many.
There was a massive fire in a factory in Tuas recently where two foreign workers were badly injured. They are a 27-year-old worker from Shandong who sustained burns to 66% of his body and a 39-year-old from Jiangsu who suffered 90% burns.
Jiang Yong Teng, the worker from Shandong who had sustained burns to 66% of his body, has been moved out of the ICU into a high dependency ward. Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, Chairman of the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC), updated us:
“He (Jiang) is awake, can smile and the nurse is hopeful that he will be able to make a recovery in one to two months if no infection sets in”
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Chen Qiu, the 39-year-old worker from Jiangsu, who had sustained burns to 90% of his body. He eventually succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
The only comforting fact in this tragedy is that Chen’s family was with him when he passed away. According to a statement by the MWC, the family have asked to convey their thanks to the staff of Singapore General Hospital for doing their utmost to care for their loved one since the accident.
Now, the most important task is to assist the family through this difficult period, in particular, Mrs Chen and the couple’s young daughter. To that end, the employer has already filed for work injury compensation (WICA) for Chen as well as the other injured foreign worker.
Also, because legal and medical assessment for the claim is expected to take some time, the employer is also obtaining their board’s approval to pay out a bereavement token to the family to tide them through this difficult time.
The MWC said it would also be providing its own token to Mr Chen’s family through the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund, and added that it had also received offers of donations from well-wishers. To facilitate these donations, MWC said it would set up a special fundraising campaign for both workers on NCSS’ Giving.SG site:
Currently, only about $1,335 has been raised for the two workers.
That is only 5% of the $20,000 goal. We know how big-hearted Singaporeans can be and we hope more help can be rendered to these workers.
The fundraising campaign ends 15 July.
Beyond supporting these two workers and their families, we must continue to ensure that workplaces are safe and that all workers are well-supported should anything happen to them. This is one of the key points highlighted by Mr Chan Chun Sing, the Secretary-General of NTUC:
Let’s hope that Jiang makes a full recovery soon, and more importantly, that we don’t hear of any such tragedies any more.
(Featured image via)