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A manhole blows up outside a multi-storey car park at Bukit Batok West. This screengrab was taken from a dashcam video circulating on social media. ― Picture via social media
A manhole blows up outside a multi-storey car park at Bukit Batok West. This screengrab was taken from a dashcam video circulating on social media. ― Picture via social media

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SINGAPORE, Aug 24 — A manhole outside a multi-storey carpark at Bukit Batok West blew up this (August 24) morning, scattering bricks around the area.

Responding to questions from TODAY, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it received a call about a flash fire from the manhole at Block 439 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 at about 9.10am.

“Upon SCDF’s arrival, there was no fire and no reported injury,” SCDF said in its statement.

Based on early investigations, the incident was “accidental in nature” and investigations are under way, SCDF said. 

A flash fire happens when combustible materials such as gas or liquid aerosol are ignited. The fire spreads quickly and lasts a short period. 

A 25-second video captured by a car’s camera, which made its rounds on social media on Tuesday, showed a flash of white light near the exit of the carpark.

Immediately after, a small ball of fire can be seen, scattering the surrounding pieces of the road.

There was no one visible in the video. While one other car could be seen, it was a distance from the fire and did not appear to be affected.

In a Facebook post, Dr Amy Khor, Member of Parliament for the Hong Kah North ward, where the manhole is, said that the incident had “understandably shaken residents”. 

She added that it was a telecommunications company’s manhole and she visited the site to find out more about the incident.

Representatives from other agencies, including fibre infrastructure provider NetLink Trust, electricity company SP, water agency PUB, the Housing and Development Board and the town council were also on site to investigate the incident and offer help, said Dr Khor.

“It is fortunate that no one was hurt from the incident. I have asked the agencies in charge of the various manholes to check and ensure safety,” she added.

TODAY has reached out to the Chua Chu Kang Town Council, which oversees the area, for comment. ― TODAY

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