Safe boxes from a local branch of a Singapore-based bank were taken away and crushed as scrap metal, leaving customers shocked and angry at the loss of their most valued possessions, executives acknowledged Wednesday.

Embarrassed bosses at DBS Bank (Hong Kong) said they will repay customers for their losses after 83 boxes filled with valuables were removed Saturday by a renovation contractor, then dumped and compressed in a junkyard. Workers scrambled to recover cash, crucial documents and smashed jewelry from the scrap heap, but DBS said it's too early to say what its liabilities will be. Local media have predicted it will come to millions of dollars.