Officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to a fire at a waste management plant at 23 Tanjong Kling Road today at about 12.15pm. The fire which involved flammable and corrosive waste materials was extinguished within 2 hours.
The SCDF said it dispatched 3 fire engines, 3 Red Rhinos, 2 firebikes, 1 ambulance, 2 Unmanned Firefighting Machines (UFM) and 7 support vehicles and that damping down is currently in progress. There are no reported injuries, and the cause of fire is under investigation.
About 80 people from NSL OilChem evacuated the building. Eyewitnesses said that the fire was about 4 – 6 feet high.
This is the second major case of fire at a waste management plant in the Jurong area in the past few months. On 23 February, the SCDF battled another similar fire incident at 23 Tuas View Circuit. SCDF reported then that one of its fireman sustained heat exhaustion and was conveyed to hospital.
There were 158 industrial fires in 2015 and in 2016, there were 159. This means that on average there was one fire in every two days for the past two years. Activists have called on the Government to do more to prevent such industrial fires.
Political activist Teo Soh Lung pointed out that while companies which go up in flames may claim compensation from their insurers for the damage caused to their factory, the workers at such firms and the general public may have no recourse on the damage caused by the toxic fumes.