4. 15 March 1986 – New World Hotel Disaster
Disbelief was shared by Singaporeans when news broke out that the six-storey Hotel New World Hotel at Serangoon Road collapsed. The tragedy claimed 33 lives.
A national disaster, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), hundreds of volunteers and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) worked hand in hand with specialist equipment to rescue the victims. They bravely faced a mammoth task in their attempt to save lives and clear the rubble. The rest of the nation gave help in any way they could: blood, food, money and care.
Companies voluntarily offered the use of specialist equipment worth thousands of dollars. Equipment such as the ultra-high pressure water machines that were able to blast through concrete without causing vibrations and 100-ton cranes to lift heavy concrete slabs facilitated the rescue efforts.
In the 7-day ordeal, People from different walks of life, races and nationalities responded as one. Public service organisations like the Red Cross and hundreds of ordinary Singaporeans came voluntarily and speedily to help. Staff of all the relief aid organisations looked after and alleviated the plight of the families of the victims.