Fiery object at food centre: Man charged

Aw Chong Loong was charged in court yesterday with negligent conduct involving an explosive substance. He told the court that he intends to plead guilty. He was offered bail of $5,000 and will be back in court on Oct 6.
Aw Chong Loong was charged in court yesterday with negligent conduct involving an explosive substance. He told the court that he intends to plead guilty. He was offered bail of $5,000 and will be back in court on Oct 6.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

He allegedly set off flare at nearby block and it landed in Ang Mo Kio centre, causing panic

He allegedly set off a flare at a block of flats in Ang Mo Kio on Tuesday and the flaming object landed in a nearby hawker centre, causing a stir.

Aw Chong Loong, 49, was charged in court yesterday with negligent conduct involving an explosive substance.

He is said to have committed the offence at Block 226C, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, at around 4.30pm on Tuesday. He was arrested the next day.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force had said it was alerted to the incident at 4.40pm and sent a fire engine to the scene.

Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao reported on Thursday that Aw works as a plumber.

According to the report, his father owns a medicine shop in the neighbourhood.

The flare, described as a "pipe-shaped object" in earlier reports, landed near a stall in Kebun Baru Food Centre at nearby Block 226H.

The flare emitted sparks, smoke and fire.

Fruit stall owner Tan Yong Joo, 56, said he heard a loud sound and saw a fiery object land just outside his stall. He used a metal hook to move it away as he was worried that it might explode.

"I was scared to death," he told The Straits Times on Thursday.

Mr Tan added that he tried to put out the fire with help from another hawker, but they did not know how to use a fire extinguisher.

A foreign worker later managed to put out the flames.

An area the size of a football field was cordoned off for six hours following the incident, with more than 50 police officers at the scene.

The police had earlier said that no one was injured in the incident.

Yesterday, a police prosecutor asked the court for a week's adjournment, pending findings from the Health Sciences Authority.

Aw, who was unrepresented, told District Judge Adam Nakhoda that he intends to plead guilty to the charge. He was offered bail of $5,000 and will be back in court on Oct 6.

If convicted of negligent conduct involving an explosive substance, Aw could be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2017, with the headline 'Fiery object at food centre: Man charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe