SINGAPORE: Ten people were rushed to the hospital after an explosion at the Tuas industrial building, Singapore caused a fire on the premises. Witnesses said that they heard a loud explosion from the building at around 11:20 am on Wednesday.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the explosion was caused due to the long-term accumulation of potato starch. It was elucidated as the combustible dust explosion. The company used potato starch in its product and due to inadequate planning, the starch in powder form started accumulating in a confined environment which led to the explosion.
The workers working in the Tuas factory of fire protection systems suffered severe burns.
The fire department arrived at the affected area 10 minutes after it was alerted immediately by one of the witnesses. Two water jets were used to calm down the fire in the building.
Eight victims were taken to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) while two more from the opposite unit were taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. Three of the injured victims were announced dead due to the extremity of third-degree burns they suffered all over their bodies. Additionally, three ambulances were seen taking the victims to the hospital.
In a statement, doctors said that due to the grievously burned bodies, it was difficult to identify the victims.
“The employer is making separate housing arrangements for the unhurt workers. MOM is also working with the employer to ensure their wellbeing is being taken care of,” the Ministry of Manpower said.
Around 65 people from the neighbouring units were excavated from the building.