15 taken to hospital after yacht catches fire at Sentosa Cove
Another 12 victims, including volunteer firefighters, also taken to hospital for smoke inhalation
A boat technician was shocked to see several people, including a woman carrying an infant, running and screaming at ONE° 15 Marina Club in Sentosa Cove yesterday afternoon.
When Mr Derrick Sim, 33, realised they were fleeing a burning yacht berthed at a fuel dock, he ran there to direct people away from the fire. Two boat maintenance team colleagues, who were with him, joined the club's emergency response team to fight the blaze before the arrival of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
Mr Sim, who had cuts on the soles of his feet and was covered in sweat, told The New Paper: "The yacht was badly burned. We could feel the heat from the flame from 150m away."
Fifteen people were later taken to two hospitals.
Three of them, including an infant, were taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for burn injuries.
The others were taken to the National University Hospital and SGH for smoke inhalation.
TNP understands that the baby had burns on the face and the other two burn victims are women, with one of them in serious condition.
The SCDF said in a statement that it was alerted at 4.30pm to a fire involving a yacht that was berthed at a fuel dock at ONE°15 Marina Club.
Members of the club's emergency response team fought the fire using three hose reels before SCDF firefighters arrived and put it out with two water jets.
A club spokesman said the 15 victims included those on board the yacht and volunteer fire fighters.
"The people on board the yacht evacuated shortly after the fire broke out. It was put out at about 4.50pm," the spokesman added.
It is not known how many people were on the yacht when it caught fire.
When TNP arrived at the scene at 5.30pm, there were three fire engines, two rapid response fire vessels and more than 20 officers, including the police and Sentosa rangers, at the dock.
The top half of the yacht, identified by the club as Wilber, had been destroyed, and the air was filled with the smell of gasoline.
Mr Sim told TNP that glass shards from the yacht's melted windows had pierced his feet after he lent his slippers to a colleague who climbed onto the yacht after the fire was put out.
He did not seek treatment. His two colleagues who helped fight the fire were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
Mr Shazan Ifham, who was working on board another yacht nearby, told The Straits Times: "I saw black smoke and realised it was a fire. That was when I started to react."
The former firefighter, 27, who is now chief skipper at a yacht charter company, said he called the SCDF, which arrived in about five minutes.
Another witness, who works at the nearby Singapore Yacht Show office and declined to be named, told TNP that she heard a bang and ran out of the office with her colleagues.
The marketing assistant said: "The yacht was swallowed by flames and black smoke in a matter of seconds.
"I was scared it was going to explode, especially when there are kids in a playground nearby."
She said her colleagues later saw the owner of the yacht on the club premises. He was not on board when the fire occurred.
Mr Brent Rubbo, who owns boat-dealing company Premium Nautical, said his boat, which was berthed near the burning yacht, was damaged by the heat from the flames.
SCDF is investigating the cause of the fire.