Victim leaves behind 6-month-old girl

Ms Lim Siaw Chian became a Singapore citizen only a month ago. She had returned to work after her maternity leave one week before the fire at Leeden National Oxygen which claimed her life. She had been working there for more than a year.
Ms Lim Siaw Chian became a Singapore citizen only a month ago. She had returned to work after her maternity leave one week before the fire at Leeden National Oxygen which claimed her life. She had been working there for more than a year.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF LIM SIAW CHIAN

Chemist who died in Jurong fire had also lost her mum at a young age

Chemist Lim Siaw Chian had grown up without her mother. Now, her six-month-old daughter will do the same.

Ms Lim, who was also called Krysten, was killed in Monday's blaze at Leeden National Oxygen, a gas manufacturing firm in Tanjong Kling Road in Jurong. Several explosions were heard as a fire engulfed a ground-floor laboratory.

Seven others were injured in the fire and taken to hospital.

Ms Lim, a Malaysian who became a Singapore citizen only a month ago, had returned to work after her maternity leave one week before the fire.

The 30-year-old had been married for about two years, said her family members who were at the mortuary next to the Singapore General Hospital yesterday morning.

She leaves behind her husband and baby daughter, who is being cared for by a babysitter.

Ms Lim had lost her own mother to kidney failure 22 years ago. Her mother was also 30 when she died.

Her granduncle, Mr Gay Thiam Huat, who lives in Singapore, told reporters in Mandarin that he remembered Ms Lim as a "bubbly, lovely girl" who often visited his home when she first came to Singapore with her mother at a young age.

His wife shared a close relationship with Ms Lim's mother.

The last time Mr Gay and his wife saw Ms Lim was about two years ago at her wedding. The 64-year- old lorry driver said: "She was not sure if she wanted Singapore citizenship initially... She thought the cost of living here was quite high."

He added that she could have changed her mind as Singapore holds a special meaning for her.

The eldest of three siblings had come with her mother to Singapore when she was young, but went back to Malaysia after her mother died. Ms Lim returned to Singapore to do her undergraduate studies.

"She met her husband, who is also from Malaysia, in university here," Mr Gay said.

Ms Lim's husband, who is now a Singapore citizen, was also at the mortuary yesterday morning. Stricken with grief, he did not speak to the media.

Representatives from Leeden National Oxygen also visited the mortuary and were seen talking to him.

Mr Gay said Ms Lim's employer had sent a car to Senai in Malaysia yesterday afternoon to bring her parents-in-law and a younger brother to Singapore to identify her body. Her other brother arrived at the mortuary yesterday morning, while her father, who works as a school bus driver, could not come as he had to work. Ms Lim's remains were due to be taken to her hometown of Senai in Johor this week.

Ms Lim, who lived with her husband and daughter in Jurong West, had been working at Leeden National Oxygen for more than a year.

Her colleague, Mr Lee Mun Hong, described her as a humble and friendly person, and a responsible worker. The 45-year-old safety manager last spoke to her last month.

He said: "She was just telling me about her joy of motherhood, how her daughter is so precious."

The father of one, who was hospitalised owing to the fire, said a thought struck him when he used his phone to video chat with his daughter at the hospital: "She (Ms Lim) can't do that any more. I can still see my daughter and my wife, but she can never have that again."

•Additional reporting by Lim Yi Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2015, with the headline 'Victim leaves behind 6-month-old girl'. Print Edition | Subscribe