5 workers injured in industrial accident in Bukit Batok after wall collapses; reports of explosion heard

The aftermath of the industrial incident at a 11th floor unit in Enterprise Centre.
The aftermath of the industrial incident at a 11th floor unit in Enterprise Centre. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
An industrial incident in a factory building at 20 Bukit Batok Crescent caused the partial collapse of a wall and "significant damage".
An industrial incident in a factory building at 20 Bukit Batok Crescent caused the partial collapse of a wall and "significant damage". ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Shattered windows seen at the damaged portion of the building.
Shattered windows seen at the damaged portion of the building. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
SCDF and Manpower Ministry personnel surveying the damage to a unit located diagonally opposite the affected unit.
SCDF and Manpower Ministry personnel surveying the damage to a unit located diagonally opposite the affected unit. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The exterior of Enterprise Centre at 20 Bukit Batok Crescent, where the explosion occurred.
The exterior of Enterprise Centre at 20 Bukit Batok Crescent, where the explosion occurred. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Five workers were injured in an industrial accident that caused the partial collapse of a wall at a factory building in Bukit Batok on Monday (Sept 11).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post at 11.43am that it responded to the incident at Enterprise Centre, located at 20 Bukit Batok Crescent, at around 11am.

In a subsequent update at 1pm, it said five injured workers have been taken to hospital. One of the workers suffered burn injuries and was taken to Singapore General Hospital, while the others were taken to Ng Teng Fong Hospital. 

The explosion originated from an 11th-floor unit occupied by ZTP Ginseng Birdnest, which specialises in health products. 

The accident caused "significant damage" within the building's premises. There was no fire and no one was trapped.

Ms Valerie Ong, an account manager at an IT firm who works in the building directly opposite Enterprise Centre, told The Straits Times that she first heard a loud explosion at around 11am. 

"The glass windows and furniture in my office were vibrating slightly. At first I thought it was thunder but only realised later that it was a real explosion," said Ms Ong, who is in her 20s. "There was smoke coming out of several damaged windows."

She added that she saw office workers evacuating from the building shortly after the explosion. 

An eyewitness, who works in the unit opposite ZTP Ginseng Birdnest but declined to be named, said the explosion was "very, very loud". Photos she sent to citizen journalism website Stomp showed parts of a wall and ceiling badly damaged, with debris strewn all over a car parked outside the affected unit.


The aftermath of the industrial incident, which injured five workers. PHOTOS: STOMP 

Mr Li, a staff member in the Tung Lok Restaurants unit on the same floor, said he was startled by the explosion even though he was four units away. 

"When the police came they told us to evacuate and we only were allowed back in after 12pm," he added. 


Debris from the explosion seen on the building's 9th floor spiral ramp. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM 

Madam Joanne Sim, who runs a claypot stall in the building's canteen on the ground floor, said her business was affected as she had to turn off the gas. 

"We were cooking halfway and only my sesame chicken was ready," Madam Sim said. 

SCDF dispatched a fire engine, three Red Rhinos, three ambulances and three support vehicles to the scene.

The structural integrity of the Enterprise Centre building, including that of other units, was not affected by the incident, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said in a statement on Monday.

BCA said its engineer inspected the building and observed that parts of the window panels and false ceilings of two units on the 11th floor were damaged and a non-structural brick wall within them had partially collapsed. 

"In the interest of public safety, the affected units had been closed and areas at the ground level below the damaged windows cordoned off," said BCA.

It added that the building owner is required to appoint a Professional Engineer (PE) to conduct detailed investigations and recommend permanent rectification measures to be carried out. 

Investigations are ongoing.