Every now and then, safe, secure and orderly Singapore is rocked by tragedies that strike deep into the hearts and minds of Singaporeans. In the fire that broke out at a gas manufacturing firm in the Jurong industrial area on 12 Oct 2015, 1 person was killed and 7 people were injured, but many more were heartbroken.
According to the Civil Defense, they received a call at 9.30 am about several explosions and a fire at Leedon national Oxygen, and sent the cavalry: 4 fire engines, 2 red rhinos, 2 fire bikes, 8 support vehicles and 4 ambulances. The laboratory was on fire, next to where chemicals were produced and stored.
While 7 people were sent to two hospitals to treat lacerations, burns and smoke-inhalation, one woman was pronounced dead on scene by paramedics. Ms Lim Siaw Chian, 30, died in the fire, leaving behind her husband and six-month-old daughter.
She was a chemist and was originally from Johor, and only became a Singapore citizen a month before the incident; she had only been back to work for a week after her maternity leave. Her husband, who was also a Malaysian who obtained Singaporean citizenship recently, met her at university in Singapore and they got married two years ago.
Ms Lim had lost her mother to kidney failure 22 years ago, when her mother was 30; her daughter will now have to deal with the exact same thing.
The production and bottling of hydrocarbons at the firm has been ordered to stop while investigations take place. The company has since started a donation drive among its own staff for Ms Lim, while her remains have been brought back to her hometown in Senai, Johor for her funeral.
Our hearts and minds are with Ms Lim’s husband and her family.