Benoi Road shipyard blast - Update by MOM

Yes. Check out the press release by MOM on the blast at 3 Benoi Road. A very sad accident. Two lives lost.

Investigations into the Benoi Road shipyard blast on Thursday which killed two men, has revealed that four tanks ruptured on a barge during works to lengthen the vessel.

Flammable vapours were present in the barge tanks after the blast and the possibility of a flash fire in the damaged tanks resulting in the blast could not be ruled out, said the Ministry of Manpower.

The presence of flammable vapours is believed to have been due to paint vapours from spray painting works that had been carried out three days before the accident.

Further investigations by the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate will be carried out to confirm whether hot works were being carried out and if the flammable vapours in the tanks had fuelled a flash fire, leading to the blast.

The blast which was reported just before 1.30pm ripped apart the front of the barge, and caused wall panels of a workshop situated about five metres from the barge to fall off.

According to an MOM news release, some 10 workers were in the workshop when the blast occurred and some of them sustained light scratches.

A 43 year-old Malaysian worker who was working on top of the barge at the time of the accident, was thrown off the vessel by the blast.

The other victim was a 20-year-old Bangladeshi who was near the barge when the accident occurred.

Relatives of both men claimed their bodies on Friday afternoon.

Hassan's uncle, Mohd Mosleh Uddin, said Hassan's body would be sent home to Bangladesh by Saturday night.

According to Mr Mohd Mosleh, the money to transport Hassan's body has been paid for by the employer, New Millenium Construction.

Work on the site has been stopped indefinitely and investigations are ongoing.

Emphasising the need to remain vigilant to prevent workplace accidents, Mr Ho Siong Hin, the Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health, said: "This tragic accident is a sombre reminder for everyone to remain vigilant and be alert to risks at work."

"Accidents occur when safe work procedures are not followed due to complacency or when rushing jobs," he added.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Benoi blast could have been caused by lingering flammable vapours".

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