Oil spill after tanker accident causes massive BKE jam
He took 40 minutes just to turn from the carpark entrance into the main road and another two hours to reach his workplace in Bukit Batok.
Mr Roy Tan, 29, was among the many commuters affected by a massive traffic jam yesterday after an early morning accident caused an oil spill on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE).
The spill, which occurred right after the Mandai Road exit towards the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), was caused by a leak in a Malaysian-registered tanker carrying palm oil.
The tanker driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Nazib, 52, told The Straits Times that he got into an accident with a car at about 3am yesterday.
The collision damaged the tanker, causing it to leak oil onto the road.
Two lanes were cordoned off for cleaning and the Mandai Road exit was closed, resulting in a jam that caused a tailback as far as about 5km away to Woodlands bus interchange. Eleven SMRT bus services were affected.
TNP PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY
Mr Tan, who lives opposite the Woodlands bus interchange, usually takes about 25 minutes to drive to his workplace. But it took him two and a half hours yesterday morning.
"Just getting to Marsiling MRT station, which usually takes me about three minutes, was a painful 40-minute ride. The road was packed like sardines," said the logistics executive.
Victoria Junior College student Adrian Goh, 18, who lives in Johor Baru and travels in and out of Singapore every weekday, also expressed his worry about the delay.
"I usually sleep in the bus on my way to the interchange so I have a good sense of how long the journey takes, but today when I woke up, the bus wasn't even halfway there. It got me a little worried. I didn't know what was going on," he said.
Earlier, at about 6am, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent two fire engines to clear the spillage using water jets and solvents.
Sheets of absorbent materials were also used to soak up the oil on the concrete.
PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
Normally, spills are quickly cleaned up by SCDF personnel using water or chemicals.
But in this case, the road had to be dug up and resurfaced, so the case was handed over to the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA), who arranged for the road to be replaced by fresh tar.
An NEA spokesman said: "The palm oil spill was extensive, requiring the deployment of oil absorbent pads and oil booms to contain the spread of the spill."
An LTA spokesman said that the two closed lanes were reopened by 6.35pm yesterday.
2.54am: Police receive call about collision between car and oil tanker.
3am: SCDF is alerted to accident requiring ambulance assistance at the scene.
A 41-year-old man is taken conscious to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
The driver of the oil tanker does not require medical assistance.
6.07am: SCDF is alerted to oil spill near the accident by the police.
Two fire engines are sent to clear the spillage, using water jets and solvents. Two lanes are closed.
6.15am: NEA's service provider is at the scene to assess and assist in clean-up operations.
1pm: Contractor completes the clean-up.
2.30pm: LTA says two lanes still closed for works to resurface the road.
3.15pm: One lane reopens.
6.35pm: Expressway fully reopens.