Cabby, passenger flee taxi before it bursts into flames

The taxi driver and his passenger got out of the taxi when it started emitting smoke, before it burst into flames last Friday.
The taxi driver and his passenger got out of the taxi when it started emitting smoke, before it burst into flames last Friday.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER

A taxi driver and his passenger escaped from his taxi when it started emitting smoke in Hougang last Friday night.

The SMRT taxi, which was along Hougang Avenue 3 at about 8.10pm, later burst into flames, with several loud pops heard, Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

The taxi driver, Mr Li Weilian, 51, told Wanbao that he was taking a male passenger to Hougang Avenue 1 when the incident occurred.

He saw smoke coming from the back of the cab, followed by smoke rising from the bonnet.

"I immediately stopped the taxi, grabbed my phone, passport and wallet and alighted with the passenger," he said. "Once we were out, the taxi burst into flames."

Mr Li said he had taken the cab for a scheduled maintenance just five weeks ago, and was supposed to take it for maintenance again that very day.

The fire was put out by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), but the cab was left charred.

The SCDF told The Sunday Times yesterday that it received a call for help at 8.09pm and dispatched a fire engine, a Red Rhino and two fire bikes to the scene.

The fire was extinguished with a hose from a fire engine, a spokesman said, and no one was hurt.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Lydia Lam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 09, 2017, with the headline 'Cabby, passenger flee taxi before it bursts into flames'. Print Edition | Subscribe