150 officers across 25 agencies conduct chemical spill drill

A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Marine Command vessel spraying water over the contamination zone in a chemical spill simulation exercise held by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA). ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

SINGAPORE - A chemical tanker collided with a bunker barge off the coast of Raffles Reserved Anchorage, spilling tonnes of chemicals and rendering two crew members unconscious.

This was part of a joint chemical spill exercise conducted by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday (April 28), one of three yearly exercises led by the authority.

The exercise involved 150 personnel across 25 agencies, including the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Police Force, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

It simulated a collision between a fully-laden chemical tanker and a bunker barge, in which 600 tonnes of cyclohexane was spilt, and two crew members had to be rescued.

In a release, MPA said these exercises are regularly held to test and demonstrate Singapore's readiness to tackle oil and chemical spills.

Mr Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, said: "As one of the busiest ports in the world and leading bunkering port, the ability to respond to any maritime incident swiftly, including chemical and oil spills, is critical. Good coordination across various agencies is essential. Today's multi-agency exercise is a good opportunity for us to hone our response strategies as well as share best practices."

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