Car that exploded in Bukit Batok carpark was rental vehicle that went missing, says owner

Going by videos and photos taken by eyewitnesses, the Nissan Dualis appeared to be severely damaged in the explosion, with its front right door and rear blown off.
Going by videos and photos taken by eyewitnesses, the Nissan Dualis appeared to be severely damaged in the explosion, with its front right door and rear blown off. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/JASON LIM

SINGAPORE - The car which exploded in a multi-storey carpark in Bukit Batok on Wednesday evening (April 26) and injured a man is apparently a rental vehicle that had gone "missing".

Mr Alex Soo, 37, who runs a car rental firm, told The Straits Times that the Nissan Dualis belonged to him, and he had lodged a police report earlier as the vehicle's hirer allegedly failed to pay him the rental fees and return the car.

Mr Soo's company, which is in Ang Mo Kio, loans cars out to drivers so they can drive for private-hire services Uber and Grab.

It is unclear what caused the explosion but the police said that "portable butane gas canisters were found at the scene", and that they are investigating the cause of the blast.

The incident happened at Block 290H, Bukit Batok Street 24, at around 6.28pm on Wednesday and resulted in a 32-year-old man suffering burns on his chest and limbs. He was taken to Singapore General Hospital.

Going by videos and photos taken by eyewitnesses, the Nissan Dualis appeared to be severely damaged in the explosion, with its front right door and rear blown off.

 

A video put up on Facebook also showed the man crying in pain, with his T-shirt in tatters after the incident.

Besides losing one of the 25 rental cars in his fleet, Mr Soo said the explosion could cause him additional financial problems.

"During the explosion, the debris flew all over and hit some other cars. Other people are claiming the third-party (damages). My insurer has asked to meet me and I may need to pay the excess," Mr Soo told the Straits Times on Thursday (April 27), in a phone interview.

Mr Soo added that the car was a petrol model and did not have a CNG kit in the boot.