7 firemen, passers-by put barricades up, direct traffic away from exposed manhole in Jalan Bahar


SINGAPORE - The sight of a lorry swerving to avoid an exposed manhole in Jalan Bahar spurred a group of Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers and passers-by to step forward to help on Thursday (Jan 18).

SCDF fire biker Muhammad Hilmi Mohammad Fuad, 31, was travelling out of the Civil Defence Academy at around 10.45am when he saw the open manhole on the three-lane road.

The manhole, which was filled with water, is located between two lanes.

Realising that it could pose a danger to motorists, the senior staff sergeant rallied six others in the vicinity, including off-duty SCDF officers, to help.

Just moments before, a few of them had been waiting at a nearby bus stop, when they noticed that a lorry had narrowly avoided an accident while trying to steer clear of the manhole.

While some helped to direct traffic, others used barricades from a construction site in the area to channel traffic away safely, SCDF said in response to queries.

Videos show them lining the barricades across the rightmost lane on the road.

The Straits Times understands that the cover was found several metres away from the manhole. Traffic Police officers later arrived at the scene to help direct traffic as well.


This is the second time in a month that SCDF officers have gone beyond the call of duty.

On Jan 8, about 30 firefighters from Changi Fire Station helped to rescue six vehicles stranded due to a flash flood.

The firefighters had noticed the vehicles stalling in front of the fire station, in Upper Changi Road, after a heavy downpour.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, PUB said it was alerted to the dislodged manhole cover at around 11am and sent officers to the site. 

"A 50m section of the road was temporarily barricaded to facilitate works to replace the manhole cover. Works were completed at 7.15pm this evening," said the spokesman. 

PUB added it is investigating the cause of the dislodgement.