Pulau Busing oil storage tank fire extinguished after 'massive operation': SCDF

Channel NewsAsia 20 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE: A raging oil storage tank fire on Pulau Busing was extinguished by firefighters on Tuesday (Mar 20) after a massive six-hour operation involving several agencies.

In a Facebook update early on Wednesday morning, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the blaze was extinguished by the combined efforts of SCDF Emergency Responders and CERT members.

No casualties were reported.

SCDF said it was alerted to the fire at Pulau Busing at about 5.50pm.

A total of 128 personnel and 31 firefighting and support vehicles were deployed for the "massive operation", SCDF said in an earlier update at 11.46pm, more than five hours after the fire broke out.

The SCDF-led operations were supported by the Police Coast Guard, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Republic of Singapore Navy and the National Environment Agency.

Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, was on the island to meet SCDF emergency responders.

The fire involved an oil storage tank on Pulau Busing, one of the islands off the southern coast of Singapore, which is home to oil and chemical storage facilities.

"Radiant heat from the affected oil storage tank poses a major challenge to the firefighters as they move forward while maintaining a safe distance. Despite the challenge, SCDF firefighters and members of CERT (Company Emergency Response Team) are still pressing on," said SCDF in an update during the operations.

The oil storage tank belongs to Tankstore, which has a facility on Pulau Busing for storing petroleum and petrochemical products.

The fire was "quite severe", a Tankstore source told Reuters, asking not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Photos posted on social media show a thick plume of smoke billowing from the island.

A 29-year-old Channel NewsAsia reader, who did not want to be named, said she saw smoke rising from the island since 6pm.

Ms Nicky Ng, 48, told Channel NewsAsia she saw the smoke from the condominium she lives in near Harbourfront.

“It was about to rain and (we) heard thunder … when (we) looked at the sky, saw smoke in the sky and then saw it coming from the offshore island,” she said.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said that there has not been any increase in pollutant levels, and that it would provide updates should there be changes in the air quality situation.

"We are monitoring the air quality closely, especially in the southwestern region of Singapore," NEA said.

"The prevailing winds are currently blowing from the northeast and the air quality has remained in the good to moderate range," it said.

There have also been no spikes in the PM2.5, sulphur dioxide and other air pollutant levels, it added.


Blaze on Pulau Busing oil storage tank put out after 6 hours
Today Online 20 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE – A raging blaze involving an oil storage tank on Pulau Busing, an island off the south-western coast of Singapore, was finally extinguished early on Wednesday morning (March 21) after a six-hour firefighting operation.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) tweeted at around 1.45am that firefighting operations had ended. There were no reported casualties in the fire, which started at about 5.50pm on Tuesday.

The SCDF said 128 firefighters, 31 support equipment and several members of the Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) worked to fight the blaze, along with officers from the Police Coast Guard, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Republic of Singapore Navy, and National Environment Agency (NEA).

A video of the blaze, which SCDF said was taken at the "height of the operations", showed the top of the oil storage tank completely engulfed in flames that shot up several metres into the air.

Throughout the six-hour operation, firefighters took turns to recuperate after "arduous prolonged firefighting operations", before returning into the "thick of (the) action at ground zero", said the SCDF.

Two large foam monitors were used to contain the oil storage tank fire while five unmanned water monitors were cooling the adjacent tanks.

The SCDF said that radiant heat from the affected oil storage tank posed a "major challenge" to the firefighters. Despite the risks, SCDF firefighters and members of the CERT had pressed on, it said.

Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, visited the island along with Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs) Pang Kin Keong for a first-hand account of the firefighting operations and to meet up with the SCDF Emergency Responders.

The NEA said in a statement on Tuesday night that it was monitoring the air quality closely, especially in the south-western region of Singapore.

"The prevailing winds are currently blowing from the north-east and the air quality has remained in the good to moderate range, with no spikes in the PM2.5, sulphur dioxide and other air pollutant levels," NEA added.

The land on Pulau Busing is leased by JTC Corp to a petroleum storage company.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of the story, we reported that Pulau Busing is owned by JTC Corporation and leased to a petroleum storage company. That is incorrect. The land on Pulau Busing is leased by JTC to a petroleum storage company. JTC does not own or manage Pulau Busing. We are sorry for the error.


Offshore storage tank fire: NEA monitoring air quality
Lydia Lam Straits Times 21 Mar 18;

A fire involving an oil storage tank on Pulau Busing was still raging late last night, more than four hours after the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) first said it was responding to the incident.

SCDF said the firefighting operation was expected to be an extended one, with SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap briefing Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs) Pang Kin Keong about the complexity of the operations.

SCDF first flagged the fire on the island, located off the south-western coast of Singapore, in a Facebook post at 6.33pm.

Photos and videos posted on Facebook show dense plumes of smoke rising from the island, which is leased to petroleum storage company Tankstore.

SCDF repeatedly deployed resources to battle the flames, with emergency responders working with the Company Emergency Response Team to carry out boundary cooling of the adjacent tanks.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said last night it was monitoring the air quality closely, especially in the south-western region. "The prevailing winds are currently blowing from the north-east and the air quality has remained in the good to moderate range, with no spikes in the PM2.5, sulphur dioxide and other air pollutant levels," said NEA. "We will provide updates should there be changes in the air quality situation."

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