1,000 evacuated after switch room fire at Carlton Hotel, no one injured

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SCDF officers at the scene. ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

SINGAPORE - Smoke was seen wafting from a room at the back of the Carlton Hotel in Bras Basah Road on Thursday afternoon (Feb 14), with witnesses saying that they heard several loud explosions from the premises.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) told The Straits Times that it responded to a fire incident at a hotel at 76 Bras Basah Road at 1.15pm.

In an update on Facebook at 3.15pm, SCDF said that the fire was contained within a switch room and about 1,000 people were evacuated from the building.

SCDF officers put out the fire using extinguishers. There were no reported injuries.

Public relations executive Jonathan Lim, 32, said that he was in Odeon Towers, which is next to the hotel, when the building's power supply appeared to be cut off at 1.15pm, with the lights and air-conditioning going out.

He went out of the building and saw smoke coming out from a door at the back of Carlton Hotel.

The door, which he said was "blown open", appeared to lead to a room containing power supply equipment, he said.

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"I was a bit shocked and alarmed. We saw some metal on the floor near the area," he said.

There was also a strong smell of burning plastic, he added.

Onlookers told him that they heard an explosion earlier.

He said that he later heard a second explosion as he was waiting outside the building.

Photos of the incident showed two fire engines and several SCDF officers at the scene.

At around the same time on Thursday afternoon, some parts of central Singapore, including Bugis, City Hall, Marina and Somerset, were plunged into darkness due to a sudden power outage.

The outage has been confirmed to be linked to the fire at Carlton Hotel, as both were caused by equipment failure at the substation serving Carlton Hotel..

Power was fully restored at Carlton Hotel at 6.34pm.

Seven MRT station on the North East Line were also affected, though no train services were disrupted. These stations were Potong Pasir, Boon Keng, Dhoby Ghaut, Clarke Quay, Chinatown, Outram Park, and HarbourFront.

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