Explosion at Benoi Road Shipyard

Another incident which left 2 workers dead.

Explosion at Benoi Road shipyard kills two
By Lynda Hong An explosion at a shipyard in 3 Benoi Road resulted in the death  of  at least two people

SINGAPORE: There has been an explosion at a shipyard in 3 Benoi Road, resulting in the death of at least two people.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that the incident involved a barge undergoing maintenance work at the shipyard. A SCDF spokesman said the two were pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

The Manpower Ministry has identified the two as a 43-year-old Malaysian and a 20-year-old Bangladeshi.

They were working on the barge when the blast occurred at around 1.20pm, after the workers had just returned from their lunch break. There were also some workers at the shipyard who suffered minor injuries due to the blast, but no one was hospitalised.

The deceased Bangladeshi is Hassan Mainul. His uncle said Hassan came to Singapore just three months ago.

He said: “That time when they called, I cannot believe myself. How come? Only last Sunday, I saw him. He is a very innocent boy, innocent face and he is very handsome, very handsome boy. He finished intermediate and higher secondary, I brought him here for a job, to [have a better life]. Now he is gone. I really cannot believe it.”

The Manpower Ministry has ordered a stop to all work at the incident site, which is occupied by Haosen Marine Pte Ltd. Preliminary investigations by the ministry showed that the two workers were assigned to conduct checks for leaks on one of the barge’s tank compartments.

Both the SCDF and police said they received a call about the incident at about 1.30pm. SCDF dispatched two fire engines, two fire bikes, one ambulance and two other support vehicles to the scene.

The intensity of the blast also affected buildings nearby. A witness Channel NewsAsia spoke to said the explosion broke some glass panels in her office across the road.

It also caused a ceiling panel to collapse but no one was injured.

The witness, who wanted to be known as Mandy, added that the ground shook when the explosion occurred.

Another eye witness, 34-year-old Adrian Lee who was in the area for a meeting about four factories away from the explosion site, said he saw people running out after the blast caused a roof to collapse.

He said: “I was at a neighbouring unit at number 3 Benoi Road when I heard a loud explosion. Went out, I saw the roof collapse, people running out. Minutes later fire engines came, that was the sequence.”

Another eyewitness, Eugene Chua, said: “At 1.20pm today, we heard a very loud explosion. So the rest of us in the company evacuated because there was a lot of ceiling coming down. And we had to leave our office. It felt like an earthquake. It was very tremendous. Our instincts took over and we had to get out of the office.”

There was a twisted pile of metal within the premises and a writ of possession/eviction was pasted on the gate of 3 Benoi Road.

It states that the occupiers of the building have to vacate the premises by 9.30am on May 16.

– CNA/cc/ac

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