Pipe bursts at FairPrice outlet at HDB Hub; customers evacuate as water rains down from ceiling

A pipe burst in the basement of the NTUC FairPrice outlet in Toa Payoh Central, causing water to spray down on customers and staff, and disrupting the supermarket's operations, on Dec 14, 2017.
A pipe burst in the basement of the NTUC FairPrice outlet in Toa Payoh Central, causing water to spray down on customers and staff, and disrupting the supermarket's operations, on Dec 14, 2017. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A pipe burst at an NTUC FairPrice outlet in Toa Payoh Central on Thursday (Dec 14), sending water pouring down from the ceiling.

The incident happened at the basement of the two-storey outlet at HDB Hub at about 11.45am, partially disrupting the supermarket's operations for about two hours.

The Straits Times understands that no one was hurt in the incident.

A 65-year-old employee, who wanted to known only as Ms Tan, told The Straits Times that water had sprayed down on them all of a sudden.

"Customers started running out of the outlet and staff quickly came in to close the area off," she said.

She added that the affected area houses baby products, such as milk powder and yogurt.

Another witness, a 67-year-old retiree who wanted to be known as Mr Tan, told Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao that all the customers on the floor were evacuated.

Lianhe Wanbao reported that the water had stopped leaking after a while, though there was still a foul smell at the scene.

At 2pm, customers could return to their shopping in the basement but the affected area remained cordoned off, as staff worked to clean it up, Ms Tan said.

She added that workers were still on site as of 3.30pm, including a person who was conducting tests on the electricity supply.

The Housing and Development Board said in a statement on Thursday evening that it had immediately activated its contractor to mend the pipe, after it was notified of the leak. 

“We are conducting further investigation to determine the necessary rectification works,” the statement said. 

In response to queries, a FairPrice spokesman said on Friday that the products affected by the leak have since been removed from the shelves, while sanitisation works and environmental testing are currently under way.

The spokesman advised customers who wish to purchase dairy products and juices to visit the nearby FairPrice supermarket at 192 Toa Payoh Lorong 4.

She added: "We continue to work closely with our contractors, vendors and related authorities to ensure a safe shopping environment for all."