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Choa Chu Kang's canal foam surprise

The foam was believed to be from a warehouse in Upper Bukit Timah Road. -My Paper
Adrian Lim

Wed, Nov 14, 2012
my paper

CLOUDING OVER: Billows of cloud-like white foam were seen floatingin large stretches of Pang Sua Canal in Choa Chu Kang, with some of it drifting onto nearby footpaths and roads.

SINGAPORE - Joggers in Choa Chu Kang were greeted by an unusual sight along Pang Sua Canal yesterday morning.

Billows of cloud-like white foam were seen floating in large stretches of the canal, with some of it drifting onto nearby footpaths and roads.

The foam was believed to be from a warehouse in Upper Bukit Timah Road, which had caught fire the night before.

The warehouse, located near condominiums such as Hazel Park, had about 70 barrels of detergent-based concentrate, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). About 40 barrels were damaged in the blaze and detergent flowed out of the warehouse.

Each barrel contained about 200 litres of the detergent, which is biodegradable and water-soluble, SCDF said.

National water agency PUB told My Paper the detergent could have caused the foaming. In a Facebook post yesterday morning, it also said SCDF used white fire-fighting foam - which was not harmful - to put out the fire.

The warehouse also contained metal, wood and food products.

Some 15 workers were deployed by PUB to clean the canal. At press time, most of the foam had been removed.

PUB said it was monitoring the canal's water quality and would, as a precaution, stop pumping water from the canal until the foam was completely cleared.

The Pang Sua Canal is over 9km long. It runs from Bukit Panjang to Stagmont Ring Road and Choa Chu Kang North, and drains into Kranji Reservoir. Raw water from reservoirs is treated before being supplied to homes.

SCDF said it was alerted to the warehouse fire on Monday at 8.53pm. About three quarters of the single-storey warehouse - about the size of a football field - was on fire.

Writer Yong Shu Hoong, 45, who lives in the nearby Maysprings condominium, heard small explosions going off that night.

The regular contributor to My Paper said: "I saw large columns of smoke coming out of the warehouse."

The fire was brought under control in two hours and one firefighter was taken to a hospital for heat exhaustion.

adrianl@sph.com.sg


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