Man decontaminated and sent to hospital by SCDF after ammonia gas cylinder ruptures

SINGAPORE - A Chinese man had to be decontaminated by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) after a 68kg ammonia gas cylinder ruptured at his workplace at a Coca-Cola Singapore building in Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim on Friday morning.

He was then taken by ambulance to hospital, as he "complained of difficulty breathing and felt discomfort on his face and throat", said the SCDF in a statement on Friday afternoon.

The SCDF said it was alerted to the incident at 8.45am and arrived at the location in six minutes. The affected gas cylinder was located inside a room on the first floor of the three-storey building.

Two fire engines, three Hazardous Materials Response Vehicles, one ambulance and one support vehicle were deployed to the location.

By the time firefighters arrived, the source of the ammonia leak in the building had been isolated. Workers had shut off connecting valves to the ruptured cylinder.

"SCDF's Hazardous Materials Specialists from Tuas Fire Station moved into the affected room and flushed the residual ammonia gas from the ruptured cylinder with one water jet. Fan blowers were also used to ventilate the affected room to aid in the dissipation of the gas," said SCDF.

About 80 people were evacuated from the building. Other than the man who was sent to hospital, no one else is believed to have been injured.

(The first version of this article reported that the incident occured at a Fraser & Neave building. The correct location was the Coca Cola building.)