Tuas Incineration Plant explosion took place in switchroom as technicians did maintenance work: NEA

The incident resulted in one fatality and left two workers with burn injuries.

Karen Lui | September 23, 2021, 08:07 PM

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Earlier today (Sep. 23), an explosion took place at an incineration plant in Tuas, killing one worker and injuring two others.

Localised explosion

A National Environment Agency (NEA) spokesperson said that a localised explosion occurred in an electrical switchroom at the Tuas Incineration Plant (TIP).

They said that technicians were operating the high tension electrical switch gear for maintenance work.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it responded to a fire involving a chimney fan switch in the electrical switchroom, in a Facebook post on Sep. 23.

Upon their arrival, an electrical switchroom on the first floor was engulfed in smoke, the SCDF said, adding that firefighters wore breathing apparatus sets to cautiously locate the fire.

The firefighters extinguished a few pockets of fire with two dry powder fire extinguishers.

About 80 people self-evacuated from the premises.

SCDF is investigating the cause of the fire, while the Police said that its investigations are also ongoing.

According to the Police, a 65-year-old man was found lying motionless and was pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic.

The Police also disclosed that two other men, aged 59 and 64, were conveyed to the hospital.

All three men are Singaporeans, according to Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, in a Facebook post on Sep. 23.

"We will investigate the cause of this tragic incident to prevent any future occurrences," she said.

NEA said that it is in contact with its officers' family members and is providing assistance.

"All other TIP workers are safe. Operations at the plant have been safely wound down," NEA added.

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesperson confirmed that the occupier and employer is NEA.

MOM said that they are also investigating the incident and have instructed NEA to stop all electrical maintenance work in the premises.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment described the incident as "unfortunate" and upsetting".

Fu added that she was deeply saddened by this incident and conveyed her condolences to the families of the victims.

She said that the ministry will investigate the cause of this incident.

Second explosion this year

This incident is the second explosion to happen in Tuas this year.

The first explosion was in an industrial building on Feb. 24, 2021, which wounded five workers and resulted in three deaths.

A public inquiry into the incident on Feb. 24 is currently being heard in court.

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Top images by SCDF's Facebook page and Towards Zero Waste website.

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