11/2-hour power outage hits parts of Singapore

Shunfu Market was among places hit by yesterday's power outage. The disruption affected parts of Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Sin Ming and Thomson. Electricity provider SP Group said power supply was fully restored at 2.58pm.
Shunfu Mart Food Centre was among places hit by yesterday's power outage. The disruption affected parts of Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Sin Ming and Thomson. Electricity provider SP Group said power supply was fully restored at 2.58pm.PHOTO: ST READER

Some areas of Singapore were hit by a power outage, lasting about 11/2 hours, yesterday afternoon.

Residents in Bishan, Toa Payoh and Shunfu reported losing power in their homes. Lifts and traffic lights were also affected.

An update on electricity provider SP Group's Facebook page said that supply was fully restored at 2.58pm. The disruption affected parts of Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Sin Ming and Thomson, and SP Group said supply was progressively restored from 1.46pm, 16 minutes after the outage struck.

SP Group said a preliminary investigation found that the incident was related to a fire at a substation in Bright Hill Road.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the fire in Bright Hill Road at about 1.30pm.

It added that an equipment-related fire at the site was extinguished and a firefighter was taken to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Sunday Times understands that the fire was extinguished in under 10 minutes.

A spokesman for the Energy Market Authority (EMA) said the energy regulator took a serious view of electricity supply disruptions.

The spokesman added that EMA will work with the energy industry to take appropriate measures, so as to minimise the risk of such a disruption from occurring again.

EMA, SP Group and SCDF are investigating the incident.

 
 

Speaking in Mandarin, Shunfu resident Jane Oh told The Sunday Times that she was buying eggs at a provision shop at her block when the blackout happened.

She also said that staff from the town council came by at around 2pm to check on the situation and to make sure that no one was trapped inside lifts.

"I started hearing the emergency alarm being rung in the lift, and realised that people were trapped inside, and the blackout had affected at least the whole block."

An elderly couple, who were leaving after visiting their daughter on the 10th storey, were trapped in the lift, said Ms Oh, 56, a freelance teacher. "The lift had already reached the first floor, then the power was cut, trapping them inside. When the lift started working again at around 2pm, the woman told us that she didn't want to take the lift any more and told us not to take it too," she added.

"But I live on the 13th storey and don't have enough energy to climb so many stairs.

"Another resident was also sitting at the void deck, with many bags of groceries, waiting for lift services to be restored," said Ms Oh. She added that this was her first time experiencing a power outage in more than 20 years of living in Shunfu.

Toa Payoh resident Mohamad Syahid Arif, 38, was getting ready to head out from his second-floor home at Block 97 in Lorong 3 when the outage occurred.

"There was totally no power. The lift was also not working. I could hear that there was someone stuck in the lift, pressing the emergency button," said Mr Syahid, who works on a freelance basis.

He also said that while he could not contact Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council through its emergency hotline, it responded to a message on Facebook.

He said: "It was quite calm, and there wasn't much chaos." In his case, the supply disruption was brief, lasting for about 25 minutes.

Around 4.30pm, a spokesman for the town council said that no one was injured during the outage, and that electricity supply had resumed across the constituency.

The spokesman also described the situation as "calm and managed".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 27, 2019, with the headline '11/2-hour power outage hits parts of Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe