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Fire at Tuas industrial waste management site put out after 4 hours

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A massive blaze that broke out at an industrial waste management site in Tuas was put out on Wednesday morning, after firefighters battled with the fire for four hours.

[SINGAPORE] A massive blaze that broke out at an industrial waste management site in Tuas was put out on Wednesday morning, after firefighters battled with the fire for four hours.

The fire was so large that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) deployed more than 32 emergency vehicles and 130 firefighters.

No injuries have been reported so far as no one was in the warehouse – which was about the size of a football field – at the time of fire, an SCDF officer said during a media interview after the blaze was put out at 10am.

SCDF was alerted to the incident at 48 Tuas Crescent, where Unifine Star Petrochemical is located, at 6am. The SCDF officer said firefighters arrived on the scene within 4 minutes of the call.

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The cause of the fire is being investigated by SCDF.

Unifine Star deals with toxic industrial waste, such as oil and chemicals, collecting, disposing and recycling them for other use.

In two Facebook posts before 10am when firefighters were still trying to contain the blaze, SCDF said that the fire was “was spreading along the drains”. 

An SCDF officer later said this meant that a “two-pronged attack” by SCDF officer was required to stop the “running flow fire” spreading downstream in the drains and to suppress the fire in the warehouse, so that the surrounding infrastructure was not affected.

Due to the intensity of the fire, firefighters first used eight water jets and two unmanned firefighting machines to douse the flame before SCDF personnel could enter the warehouse.

An unmanned aerial vehicle was also flown over the site to monitor the situation from the air.

When asked by media about whether the toxic industrial waste which Unifine Star stores onsite could lead to pollution concerns, the SCDF officer said the National Environment Agency (NEA) and national water agency PUB have been contacted, so they can conduct checks of their own in the area.

An SCDF hazardous materials (hazmat) vehicle was also deployed to roam and collect samples near scene so that they could be sent to NEA for checks.

The Straits Times has contacted the NEA, PUB and Unifine Star for more information.

THE STRAITS TIMES