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Woman dies after Bukit Batok fire in which hose reels could not be used

Woman dies after Bukit Batok fire in which hose reels could not be used

Three people were rescued from the fire, which broke out on the 13th floor of Block 210A Bukit Batok Street 21 at about 4.30am on Nov 1. (Facebook/Murali Pillai)

SINGAPORE: A woman injured in the Bukit Batok fire in November has died, a Singapore General Hospital (SGH) spokesperson said on Tuesday (Dec 10) in response to CNA's queries. 

Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai also confirmed this in a Facebook post.

“Friends, I regret to inform you that Mdm Goh, the Blk 210A fire victim on Nov 1, has passed away. Mdm Goh’s family asks that their privacy be respected during this trying period. Deepest condolences to them. Wishing them strength to cope with the loss of Mdm Goh,” he wrote.

Neither SGH nor Mr Murali said if the woman died from injuries sustained in the fire. She died on Monday, according to the SGH spokesperson. 

Three people were injured in the fire that broke out at Block 210A Bukit Batok Street 21 on Nov 1. A woman in her 60s rescued from a toilet in the flat, while a man in his 60s and another man in his 30s were found standing on the ledge outside the kitchen window. 

READ: Firefighters rescue 2 people standing on ledge outside window after fire breaks out in Bukit Batok flat

A 60m ladder was deployed to conduct an aerial rescue. 

The three victims were taken to SGH to be treated for burn injuries and smoke inhalation. 

On Nov 9, it emerged that firefighters involved in the Bukit Batok fire were unable to use the fire hose reels at the location. 

Several of the hose reel cabinets had been padlocked, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), adding that even after one of the padlocks was broken, firefighters were unable to use the reel because there was no water supply.

Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JCTC) was issued a warning by SCDF.  

JCTC on Nov 13 said the fire hose reels were certified to be in working condition, but two days later said that it was investigating the claims by the contractor responsible for maintaining the reels. 

READ: Jurong-Clementi Town Council gets warning from SCDF after firefighters unable to use hose reels during blaze

READ: Fire hose reels at Bukit Batok block were padlocked to prevent vandalism - Town council

READ: Bukit Batok fire - Hose reels did not have water supply because pump switch was in wrong mode

Earlier this month JCTC released its findings of the investigation, saying that the contractor, J Keart Alliances, had been "negligent in failing to ensure that a selector switch at the pump room" was in the correct mode.

In its findings, JCTC also added that the decision to lock the hose reel cabinets was taken by a property officer following "frequent vandalism" of the cabinets.

"This was a mistake, as it meant that the cabinets could only be opened with force during an emergency, as SCDF had done during the recent fire incident," said the town council. 

The property officer would be "redeployed", it said, adding that two senior officers with supervisory roles over the officer would also be penalised.

Source: CNA/nr(hs)


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