Of death and gloom

Feb 12, 2017 08.41AM |

THE toppling of a tembusu heritage tree in the Botanic Gardens last afternoon – 35 minutes before the start of a concert celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary – killed an Indian national. Her husband and their two children were also injured, and right after the incident many rushed to heave the tree off the victim. More than 270 years old, the tembusu heritage tree was found to be healthy when it was last inspected in September 2016. The National Parks Board (NParks) said it is now investigating the cause of the tree fall, though according to a botany expert interviewed by ST, the recent heavy rains and the “gusty winds” yesterday could have been contributing factors too.

In another unfortunate case in Singapore, the death of an auxiliary police officer at Tuas Checkpoint on Friday (Feb 10) – who died when he was knocked down by a car while diverting traffic – is believed to be the first on-duty Certis Cisco officer killed in an accident by a member of the public. The Malaysian driver is said to have been drink driving, when he made a sudden swerve into another lane and made contact with the police officer. In addition to the assurance of safety measures in place and the conducting of a review by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, financial assistance will be provided by Certis Cisco to the family

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Other cases of deaths and casualties around the world have left many stunned:

  • Following a rush-hour arson attack on a Hong Kong subway train on Friday (Feb 10) – suspected to be the work of a man with a history of mental illness – three people remained in critical condition. 18 people in total were injured.
  • An earthquake yesterday in the southern Philippines has killed at least six people, and rescue workers are now looking for more survivors. At least 126 were injured, and thousands were forced to flee their homes. Power and water services were knocked out.
  • In Iceland – which has an annual murder rate of two – the murder of a young woman has shocked the country. The body of the department store sales assistant was found after a search operation involving 775 rescue workers, and the suspect has been arrested.

And finally, for apparently flouting immigration rules, a Singaporean grandmother who has been married to a British man for the past 27 years faces the prospect of deportation back to Singapore. She was first granted an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – issued to foreign spouses of British citizens – in 1990, but the ILR lapsed when the couple moved to Singapore in 1992 and subsequent applications have since failed. Her family and she moved back to Britain, in 1998 and in 1999 respectively. Britain’s Home Office, which is responsible for immigration, has said that she has no legal basis to remain in the country.


Featured image from TMG file.

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