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Photo from SCDF

Four injured by gas explosion at hawker stall in Old Airport Road Hawker Centre

A hawker stall at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre caught fire on Tuesday (2 August), causing three men and a woman to sustain burn injuries.

The incident happened at Xin Mei Congee stall at the popular food centre and was reported around 10am to the police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

The fire had been already extinguished with the sprinkler system before SCDF's arrival.

Preliminary investigations by SCDF revealed that the fire was caused by repair work on the gas supply to the food stall.

The New Paper reported that there had been three explosions.

The first happened in the middle of the store where the workers were changing the gas pipes, then it travelled up the pipes and sparked a second explosion. The third explosion was at the air vent near the ceiling.

Four people were reported to be injured: two Union Energy Corporation workers who suffered burns to their arms, their manager who had a cut on his right arm, and a 52-year-old worker at a fish porridge stall located behind the one that caught fire.

The four were sent to Singapore General Hospital in two ambulances for their injuries on their arms and hands.

Stall owners said the gas supply for the food centre was turned off for about an hour following the incident.

Mr Vincent Lim, 47, the owner of Xin Mei Congee stall, who was not at the location, arrived at the location around noon. He had been earlier notified about the fire by a phone call at 11am.

He said to the reporters, "The first thing I was worried about was the safety of the people".

Union gas said that the stall will be referred to their insurance company so compensation should not be an issue.