Response team helps control Jurong fire

A firefighter from the Singapore Civil Defence Force at work outside Leeden National Oxygen yesterday. A woman employee died in the fire at the gas manufacturing firm in Jurong. Its emergency response team helped to control the blaze before firefighters arrived. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

A fire at Leeden National Oxygen yesterday could have been worse, if not for the quick actions of its emergency response team.

The fire at the gas manufacturing firm in Jurong left a 30-year-old woman dead and seven injured.

Four of those injured were members of the emergency response team, while the rest - including the dead woman - were working in the laboratory where the fire broke out.

At National University Hospital (NUH) yesterday, Leeden's chief executive Steven Tham said: "The emergency response team controlled the fire from spreading before firefighters arrived. Without their efforts, the damage would have been greater."

About 10 members of the team used hoses, fire hydrants and extinguishers to prevent the blaze from spreading, said Mr Tham.

He added: "In fact, when the first explosion occurred at 9.20am, the head of the (team) rode a bicycle, rushed to the scene, and tried to put out the fire on his own first to prevent it from spreading."

The team leader is Mr Nelson Poh, who is in his 50s and has been warded at NUH for smoke inhalation.

Other victims suffered injuries, including lacerations.

The Straits Times understands that the four who have been warded are in a stable condition. Their relatives and colleagues declined to be interviewed.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who visited the injured workers at NUH, said: "Our top priority is for those who are injured to receive the best healthcare possible, to ensure that they have a smooth recovery.

"For the deceased, we will do whatever necessary for the family."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline Response team helps control Jurong fire. Subscribe