Singapore

Two-hour fight to put out Jurong fire

Some 80 people were evacuated from a waste management facility in Jurong yesterday when a section of it caught fire.

No one was injured, but an acrid smell lingered in the air as smoke poured from NSL OilChem waste management’s fixation facility in Tanjong Kling Road.

The fire, which involved flammable waste materials, was extinguished in two hours, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

Furniture assembler Charles Goh, 45, who had been making a delivery across the road around 12pm, told The Straits Times: “There was thick smoke coming from the incident site, and flames in the premises initially.”“I also heard a boom,” he said.

SCDF added that it was alerted to the fire around 12.15pm.

Firefighters “promptly surrounded and contained the fire, covering an area of 30m by 30m, with foam jets”, it said.

ST understands that around 60 officers were deployed.

Responding to media queries, an NSL spokesman said: “The cause of the fire is presently unknown but we are doing all we can to assist the authorities with investigations.”

She added that the fire took place in the fixation facility, which treats industrial solid waste so that it becomes suitable for landfill.

This area occupies about 3 per cent of the plant complex.

Mr Lingeshwaran Nathan, 29, headed to help SCDF officers when he saw “thick black smoke” coming from the site.

The health, safety and environment officer brought them water and helped them when they needed to remove their gear. “I was going out for lunch but once I saw the smoke, I wanted to help in any way I could. It was quite a big fire,” he said.

He told ST at the scene that around 20 workers from NSL OilChem waste management, where the fire occurred, were evacuated to the building opposite, Natsteel.

Scenes of yesterday’s fire were shared online. Pictures and a video posted on Facebook by user Chandra Prakas showed dense smoke rising from the building as a fire alarm sounds in the distance. People were also heard shouting.

This is the second big fire at Tanjong Kling Road in two years.

In 2015, a woman was killed and seven others injured after an explosion in a lab which also caused a fire.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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