Lightning strike cause of Pulau Busing oil storage tank fire: Shanmugam on preliminary findings

Channel NewsAsia 9 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE: Preliminary investigations show that a lightning strike was the cause of the oil storage tank fire on Pulau Busing in March, which took firefighters six hours to extinguish.

This was revealed by Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam on Monday (Jul 9), in his written response to a Parliamentary question by MP Fatimah Lateef.

Preliminary findings indicate that the fire was caused by a lightning strike on the rooftop of the tank, Mr Shanmugam said, adding that investigations are still ongoing.

He also stressed that the Fire Code requires oil storage tanks to have a lightning protection system, and that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is investigating why the system seemed to have failed in this case.

A total of 128 SCDF personnel and 48 firefighting and support vehicles were deployed for the operation, in addition to the Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) members stationed on Pulau Busing.

According to Mr Shanmugam, CERT were the first responders to the fire, and helped managed to prevent the spread of the blaze before SCDF arrived.

He added that during the fire, other companies on neighbouring islands also provided resources to help fight the fire.

Special large monitors that discharge 23,000 litres of foam solution per minute, as well as specific fire appliances to cool the adjacent oil tanks, were also deployed to fight the fire, Mr Shanmugam said.

Source: CNA/am(aj)