Burning taxi explodes at Buona Vista; firefighter among 4 injured

Burning taxi explodes at Buona Vista; firefighter among 4 injured

Commonwealth Taxi
The charred remains of a Trans Cab taxi that caught fire on Sunday (Apr 30). (Photo: Loke Kok Fai)

SINGAPORE: A taxi caught fire and exploded on Commonwealth Avenue, near Buona Vista MRT station, on Sunday (Apr 30), injuring four people including a firefighter.

The taxi appears to belong to operator Trans-Cab.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire along Commonwealth Avenue, near the junction with North Buona Vista Road, at about 2.15pm. 

It sent one fire engine, two fire bikes, one Red Rhino and two ambulances to the location. 

Videos circulating widely on Whatsapp and social media showed firefighters already battling the blaze before the explosion took place. 

Taxi explodes along Commonwealth Avenue

This video circulating widely on social media shows the moment a flaming taxi exploded as firefighters tried to put out the blaze.

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Sunday, 30 April 2017

Channel NewsAsia reader Jerome Teo, who was at Star Vista at the time, said he heard a "very loud explosion" and that black smoke could be seen from there.

Four men, including an SCDF firefighter, sustained minor injuries and were taken to National University Hospital, SCDF said.

Buona Vista taxi explosion

Buona Vista taxi explosion: The firefighter who was injured in this explosion has been discharged from hospital, SCDF says, thanking the public for its kind words and concern.

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Sunday, 30 April 2017

According to Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, the injured firefighter had first-degree burns to his face and neck. He has since been discharged from hospital and is recuperating, SCDF said, thanking the public for its concern in a subsequent update on Facebook.

Commonwealth taxi top view
Police vehicles at Commonwealth Avenue on Sunday afternoon (Apr 30), surrounding white debris left after a taxi caught fire. (Photo: Loke Kok Fai)

The fire was extinguished by SCDF using two water jets and a compressed air foam backpack.

Preliminary investigations by the SCDF and police revealed that the explosion was likely caused by a road traffic accident.

Investigations by SCDF, the police and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) are ongoing, SCDF said.

Channel NewsAsia has reached out to Trans-Cab for comment. 

In a Facebook post on Monday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong praised the two firefighters for bravely battling the blaze before the taxi exploded. 

"Good to learn that the firefighter caught in the blast is ok ... The Home Team works hard to protect Singapore and Singaporeans," he wrote. 

Source: CNA/mn/mz