Novena Crane Victim Found Out His Wife Was Expecting, A Few Days Before His Death

A young migrant worker who lived in Singapore posted a Facebook update in the wee hours of Monday (4 Nov) before heading to work.

He bore the responsibility of becoming a new father on his shoulders, and was full of hope for his dreams in the future.

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Sadly, he would never get a chance to meet his unborn child.

Mr Velmurugan passed away just 3 hours later, in a tragic crane accident at his worksite in Novena. He had learnt just days ago that his wife was expecting their first child.

Local charity It’s Raining Raincoats (IRR) shared the 28-year-old’s story on their page. Here’s their post in full.

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A donation drive has been kick-started for his grieving family — his body has been sent home to India with the help of his cousin.

At the time of writing, close to $90,000 has already been raised to help them.

Dedicated young husband & father-to-be

Mr Velmurugan arrived back in Singapore in September this year, after spending time back home in India with his wife and family.

He had found employment at a local construction company, working in Singapore for the past 5.5 years.

The young migrant worker’s wife had shared amazing news with him days before the tragic incident — the couple was expecting their first baby, shares local charity IRR.

However, Mr Velmurugan wasn’t to see his child or wife again, as he passed away on Monday (4 Nov) in Singapore.

A tragic crane accident takes his life

A crane at his work-site in Novena carrying scaffolding material malfunctioned, and an estimated 300kg of debris fell onto 2 men who were in its path.

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The other 35-year-old victim was injured and warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). Mr Velmurugan was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Volunteers find him through other migrant workers

Upon learning of the accident, IRR sought to identify the man, so they could extend help to his next-of-kin. However, they claim that their official queries received “no reply”.

IRR shares that their volunteers were also “turned away” from visiting the victim warded at TTSH.

Thankfully, they didn’t give up. In their words,

It was finally a migrant worker who came to our aid. 🙏🏼 We got a name. And then a photo.

Last farewell to Mr Velmurugan

Having identified the victim, IRR volunteers went to bid farewell to Mr Velmurugan on Tuesday (6 Nov), but were not expecting a distressing scene.

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They described observing that the lower half of his face was “completely crushed” from his injuries which must have inflicted “unbearable pain” on the victim.

Praising the dedication of migrant workers & their sacrifices, they shared,

We can only hope he didn’t suffer much. What sacrifices these men make towards the building of our country.

Mr Velmurugan’s body has been returned to India, accompanied by his cousin who is a fellow migrant worker.

Donations roll in from grieving Singaporeans

Many Singaporeans have responded to IRR’s calls for donations to aid the victim’s family, posting heartfelt condolences on the page.

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At the time of writing, the drive has already garnered more than $80,000 — all of which will be sent back to Mr Velmurugan’s wife and family.

The charity seeks to be spared from negative comments & non-essential questions as they grieve his death.

You can head over to the Give Asia page to join the efforts here.

Our condolences to the victim’s loved ones

Singapore’s first fatal crane accident since 2015 sheds light on the daily sacrifices that our migrant workers make, to build our nation from the ground up.

We extend on heartfelt condolences to Mr Velmurugan’s loved ones. May his child grow up happy and healthy, knowing that his hardworking father’s sacrifices will always be remembered.

Featured image adapted from It’s Raining Raincoats on Facebook and Google Maps.