Award for bus captain who turned 'Superwoman' to put out lorry fire

Bus captain Thian Siew Mui received an SCDF Community Lifesaver Award after her action - which prevented the lorry fire from escalating - caught the attention of the Singapore Road Safety Council and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
Bus captain Thian Siew Mui received an SCDF Community Lifesaver Award after her action - which prevented the lorry fire from escalating - caught the attention of the Singapore Road Safety Council and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

It took bus captain Thian Siew Mui all of 20 seconds to become "Superwoman".

The 38-year-old was driving along her usual SBS Transit bus route in Tuas on the morning of Sept 26 when she saw a lorry on fire going past.

After honking for the lorry to stop, she grabbed an extinguisher and, after asking permission from her passengers, went to put out the fire.

"I just did what anyone else would have done," said Ms Thian, who put out the fire in around 20 seconds.

Her actions were caught on video, and the clip quickly made the rounds on social media, with netizens praising her.

It also caught the attention of the Singapore Road Safety Council and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). Both organisations presented her with an award yesterday. Colonel Anthony Toh, commander of the 4th SCDF division, said one small action from Ms Thian had prevented the fire from escalating.

Col Toh, who presented the SCDF Community Lifesaver Award to Ms Thian, added: "We hope through this simple recognition, we can encourage the public to come forward to be Community First Responders."

The Malaysian said that the incident stands out in her nine years as a bus captain.

JOB WELL DONE

We hope through this simple recognition, we can encourage the public to come forward to be Community First Responders.

COLONEL ANTHONY TOH, commander of the 4th SCDF division, on awarding Ms Thian Siew Mui for her quick thinking and public spiritedness.

 

She saw that the lorry driver and another person were having no success in putting out the fire with bottles of mineral water.

"I asked the passengers if they could give me a few minutes. When they said okay, I alighted immediately with the extinguisher," said Ms Thian.

Like all bus captains, she is trained in simple fire-fighting techniques.

Once the fire was extinguished, she rushed back to her double-decker bus No. 247 as she did not want to delay her some 50 passengers any further, said Ms Thian, who has a 14 year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter.

It was only later that she realised she had become an Internet sensation. Friends and colleagues called her "Superwoman", she said with a laugh.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2019, with the headline 'Award for bus captain who turned 'Superwoman' to put out lorry fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe