On 17 September, two workers were preparing for a pipeline for maintenance works at 1 Merlimau Road on Jurong Island, which was also the location of Singapore Refining Company.
The Ministry of Manpower revealed that the workers were overcome by residual toxic gas in the pipe at 6 pm. As the third worker attempted to rescue them, he was also overcome by the toxic gas.
It was reported that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted at 6:10 pm that evening, and the officers sent all three workers to Ng Teng Foong General Hospital. One of the workers was already unconscious at that point in time.
A MOM spokesman told The New Paper that one of the workers, who is a 30-year-old Indian national, passed away on 22 September after spending five days fighting for his life.
The employer of the workers was identified by the MOM as PEC, a plant and terminal engineering specialist provider.
The chief executive and general manager of Singapore Refining Company, Bill Stone, confirmed the tragedy and revealed that all three workers involved were contractors and the toxic gas was hydrogen sulfide.
Mr Stone expressed that he was “deeply saddened” by the death and injuries from this incident, and mentioned that his company is cooperating with the relevant authorities for investigations.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries resulting from this incident.”
“The safety of our personnel and partners is our immediate priority while we fully cooperate with the relevant authorities in their investigation.”
The other two workers were reported to be recovering.
The MOM spokesman mentioned that the maintenance works at the site had been ceased and investigations are in progress.
Following this particular incident, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council issued an alert on 29 September, advising that risk assessments and control measures must be implemented work is conducted to isolate pipelines.
The Council added that workers are required to be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment to protect them from the hazardous gas and liquid releases.