Fireman hurt in cab blast recovering well: Shanmugam

The firefighter who was engulfed in flames when a blazing taxi exploded in Buona Vista on April 30 is recovering well, said Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam.

In a post on Facebook yesterday afternoon, Mr Shanmugam said that he had visited the fireman and his mother at their home.

Media reports had earlier identified the fireman as full-time national serviceman Eka Putra, 20. The incident involving the Singapore Civil Defence Force officer was seen by many netizens when videos of it circulated online.

On April 30, the Trans-cab taxi, which ran on compressed natural gas and petrol, got into an accident with another car at around 2.15pm in Commonwealth Avenue, near Buona Vista MRT station.

It caught fire soon after and exploded when Corporal Eka and his colleagues were trying to put out the flames. The incident is still under investigation.

A picture posted on Mr K. Shanmugam's Facebook page shows Corporal Eka Putra wearing a mask, but the first-degree burns on his face and neck that were sustained in the fire are still visible. The Home Affairs and Law Minister visited Cpl Eka and his
A picture posted on Mr K. Shanmugam's Facebook page shows Corporal Eka Putra wearing a mask, but the first-degree burns on his face and neck that were sustained in the fire are still visible. The Home Affairs and Law Minister visited Cpl Eka and his mother in their home last Friday. PHOTO: K. SHANMUGAM/FACEBOOK

In his post about his visit to the family last Friday, Mr Shanmugam, referring to Cpl Eka and his mother, said: "They are the only persons in the household. The father has passed away, and the other children are all overseas."

He added that Cpl Eka had plans to study mechanical engineering after he completed his NS.

 
 

Mr Shanmugam also praised Home Team personnel like Cpl Eka. He said: "The men and women of the Home Team put their lives at risk every day to protect Singapore."

Pictures posted on Mr Shanmugam's Facebook page showed Cpl Eka wearing a mask, but the first-degree burns on his face and neck that were sustained in the fire were still visible. The Straits Times understands that Cpl Eka will return to work this week.

Speaking to The Straits Times by phone, Cpl Eka said: "I'm doing all right. The injuries don't hurt as much any more and I'm taking the medication that the doctors gave me."

He added that he had been excited about the home visit as it was his first time meeting the minister.

Mr Shanmugam also said he had alerted MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling about his case. Cpl Eka lives in her constituency.

"She will drop in on the family to check (and) offer assistance that local grassroots can give," he said.

Tan Tam Mei


Correction note: This story was edited to correct the date of the incident. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2017, with the headline 'Fireman hurt in cab blast recovering well: Shanmugam'. Print Edition | Subscribe