Friday, February 24, 2006

Dangers of Granite Quarrying

As mentioned before, granite quarrying was one of the main economy on the island but not only is quarrying dangerous to the quarry workers, it is also dangerous to the residents in close vicinity of the quarries!

In 1993, a chinese newspaper, Lianhe Wanbao, reports of falling rocks from granite blasting on Pulau Ubin that injured an old lady.

Below is a simplified translation of the article.

Huge Rock Falls From Sky, Smashing Old Lady's Head
20 September 1993
Lianhe Wanbao
Report By Guo Si Man and Cai Wan Ting
Download the article in chinese [1MB]

A figure depicting the sequence of events: (1) A quarry 1km away was blasting granite (2) One of the bits of rock flew towards the home of the injured woman and broke through the roof (3) The boulder broke through the roof and out from under the wooden wall (4) The boulder hit the left side of the victim's head and she then fell backwards bleeding (5) After injuring the victim, the boulder still continued down the hill slope, finally breaking into two

Granite quarrying has been occuring for a while on Pulau Ubin but this is the first time such an accident has happened. Residents thought that the island was safe but unexpectedly, a loose boulder still managed to travel to as far as 1km away.

A 20kg boulder fell from the sky, flying through the walls and hitting the victim on the head. The victim was then sent to the hospital on the mainland.

This incident occured on 18 September 1993 at 11.50am. After the accident, Mdm Lee was sent immediately to Changi Hospital but due to her serious conditions, she was transfered to another hospital.

Mdm Lee's husband, Mr Yang (age 68, a retired fisherman), said that despite this accident, they will continue to stay here. His wife and him were both born on the island, grew up there and will continue to live the rest of their lives on Pulau Ubin.

He also added that this incident was purely an accident. The accident unforunately occured to his family which is very unfortunate but there is nothing they can do about it but hope that his wife's conditions is not too terrible.

Translated by November Tan

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