The Straits Times
Published on Sep 03, 2012

Shell charged over safety lapses in Pulau Bukom fire


The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has filed a charge against Shell for lapses in workplace safety following investigations into a fire that broke out at the oil giant's Pulau Bukom refinery last September.

The fire was caused by lapses such as an accumulation of flammable vapours and static charges, MOM said.

The Ministry said Shell had allowed an open draining method to be used during a process called de-oiling, which is used in the maintenance of pipelines.

The method allowed flammable vapours to be released into the air, and the accumulation of such vapours created an atmosphere that would easily be ignited by any ignition source.