Man, 49, suspected of throwing flaming object into Ang Mo Kio hawker centre arrested

SCDF officers at the hawker centre where the object landed.
SCDF officers at the hawker centre where the object landed.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
The object, which was thrown from outside the centre, was extinguished with a fire extinguisher.
The object, which was thrown from outside the centre, was extinguished with a fire extinguisher.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE- A 49-year-old man arrested for allegedly firing a flaming cylindrical object into an Ang Mo Kio hawker centre on Tuesday (Sept 26) is believed to be a plumber whose father runs a medicinal shop nearby.

It is understood that the man is Singaporean and was arrested on Wednesday.

The case has been classified as negligent conduct with respect to any explosive substance, said police, and investigations are ongoing.

Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao reported on Thursday that the suspect was the son of the shop-owner of a nearby medicine shop, and worked as a plumber.

An employee of a hawker stall at Kebun Baru Food Centre, who declines to be named, told The Straits Times that she witnessed the arrest of the plumber and that she has had brief interactions with the suspect previously.

"He isn't the reckless type, but rather the quiet sort," she said in Mandarin.

A pipe-shaped object was fired on Tuesday afternoon into the Kebun Baru Food Centre located at Block 226H, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, and landed outside a stall, emitting sparks, smoke and fire.

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

Fruit stall owner Tan Yong Joo, 56, said he saw that a fiery object had landed just outside his stall, after hearing a loud sound.

He proceeded to use a metal hook to move it away, worried that it was going to explode.

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

Earlier reports had stated that the fire was extinguished by two hawkers prior to its arrival.

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

Eventually, it was a foreign worker who successfully extinguished the fire.

No one was injured, according to police.