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Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

World

2 Singapore Airlines staff seriously injured after road accident in New Zealand

AsiaOne | Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

Five Singapore Airlines (SIA) crew members have been involved in a crash between two vehicles in Canterbury, New Zealand.

According to The New Zealand Herald, one person is believed to be in critical condition while another is seriously injured.

The Straits Times reported today on Oct 2 that Chief steward Chew Weng Wai and stewardess Vanessa Coehlo suffered serious injuries.

A hospital spokesman had told The Straits Times: "The male patient is in a critical condition in intensive care and the female is comfortable in a general ward."

The police said the crash happened at the intersection of Weedons Ross Road and Maddisons Road near Rolleston, a town on the outskirts of Christchurch, at 10.40am local time.

The SIA staff were in a southbound car that collided with a 4x4 vehicle towing a horse float, said The New Zealand Herald. A horse float is a trailer used for transporting horses.

"A four-wheel-drive carrying a horse float collided with a vehicle with five people on board," said area commander of the New Zealand Fire Service Dave Berry to reporters, as stated in The Straits Times. "Two people were trapped and have been extricated."

The horse was believed to be uninjured, reported 3 News.

The Straits Times reported that the SIA crew's Toyota was travelling westward when it crashed into the northbound four-wheel-drive at a cross-junction.

The New Zealand Herald also reported that four people were taken to Christchurch Hospital with two in serious condition and two with moderate injuries.

The Straits Times reported that a SIA spokesman said that the crew members have been sent to hospital for treatment.

"Our immediate concern is for the welfare of our staff and we shall accord them and their families the highest standard of care and assistance," said the spokesman.

The New Zealand Herald had reported that a SIA spokeswoman had confirmed that some staff were involved in the crash.

The spokeswoman had also said that the company was unable to make a statement about the incident until they had more information.

"Unfortunately at this point in time we just don't have all the details with us and we're just trying to get a clearer understanding on [what happened]," she told The New Zealand Herald.

Five ambulances and three response vehicles responded to the incident, according to The Straits Time report. Canterbury police's Serious Crash Unit was at the scene and the cause of crash is under investigation.

The Straits Times understands that the SIA staff were part of the crew of Flight SQ297, which arrived in Christchurch from Singapore on Tuesday morning.

The area where the accident happened has seen some fatal crashes - three in the past three days - and several major pile-ups recently.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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