Company fined S$230,000 over massive 2017 fire at Tuas waste treatment facility

Fire at Tuas waste management facility in 2017. (Photo: Muhd Ansar Tahir / Facebook)
Fire at Tuas waste management facility in 2017. (Photo: Muhd Ansar Tahir / Facebook)

The company linked to a huge fire that broke out at a waste treatment facility in Tuas two years ago has been slapped with a S$230,000 (US$170,000) fine for unsafe work practices, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said today.

The blaze, which occurred on the morning of Feb 23, 2017, at the ECO Special Waste Management facility at 23 Tuas View Circuit, took 200 firefighters about four hours to extinguish.

According to MOM’s statement, the fire broke out while a worker was transferring liquid Hexane, a highly flammable chemical made from crude oil, from a tank to a plastic container via a metal hose.

Aerial view of 23 Tuas View Circuit in the aftermath of a fire in 2017. (Photo: MOM)
Aerial view of 23 Tuas View Circuit in the aftermath of a fire in 2017. Photo: MOM

As it turns out, that particular container was unsuitable for storing liquid Hexane because it was not made to get rid of any electrostatic charges that would be discharged from the liquid while it was being poured, MOM wrote in its statement, citing findings from its investigation.

This caused a “Hexane vapor-air mixture” that resulted in the fire, which then spread throughout the facility due to the presence of other flammable solvents. According to the ministry, it also found evidence of another flammable liquid known as Xylene, which had previously been spilled on the floor and was not cleaned up by workers.

“The spilled liquids formed flammable vapors in the area, which fuelled the spread of the fire,” the ministry said.

The incident scene at 23 Tuas View Circuit in the aftermath of a fire in 2017. (Photo: MOM)
The incident scene at 23 Tuas View Circuit in the aftermath of a fire in 2017. Photo: MOM

Fortunately, no workers were injured in the incident, as all of them were safely evacuated. The facility, however, was badly damaged.

Here’s a Facebook post on the fire, to refresh your memory:

 

Related story:

Inferno involving chemical waste and flammable materials erupts at waste management plant in Tuas

Coconuts has journalists on the ground in eight cities working hard to publish true stories that matter. You can support our work by becoming a COCO+ Member or making a Patron payment.

READ MORE

CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: ENVIRONMENT

By signing up for our newsletters you agree with our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Leave a Reply

Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on
MOST POPULAR

Send this to a friend