Fire breaks out at Tg Pagar building site

SINGAPORE - Thick smoke was seen in the city on Thursday (March 3) afternoon after a fire broke out in a construction site beside International Plaza on Anson Road.

The fire at the construction site of Tanjong Pagar Centre has been extinguished, and there were no injuries.

The fire involving construction materials "occupying an area of about 10m by 10m, was raging at the ground floor of the construction site", the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said.

SCDF officers and vehicles arrived at the incident site within five minutes of being alerted at around 6pm, it said. The fire was extinguished using two water jets at about 6.15pm.

Photos and videos showed tongues of flame, and a thick plume of smoke emitting from the site.

Marketing communications manager Jamie Chua, 28, said "super dark" smoke could be seen even from her office on the 23rd floor of PwC Building, which is about 800m from Anson Road.

"It looked scary from a distance because there was a lot of smoke," she said.

Mr Michael Hakim, 28, sent a video to The Straits Times which shows a close-up of the flames.

The business development manager of mobile app Medicloud was leaving his workplace at International Plaza when he saw the fire.

"I saw grey dark smoke coming from the back of the building, and it was a huge fire at the building that was under construction," he told The Straits Times.

He began filming the fire, and at one point, it appeared to be getting bigger, he said. The construction workers did not seem to know what to do at first, then they started taking down the construction site hoarding, he added.

The police arrived first, and began evacuating people from near the site, he said. They also blocked road access to the area.

When the fire engines arrived, the SCDF officers climbed to the second floor of the building under construction to get a good view of the fire before taking action.

"The fire was unexpected , but there was no panicking. Kudos to the civil defence officers," he said.

Mr Andy Koh, 27, was leaving work when he saw the fire and took a video of it.

The automobile industry executive said he saw one fire engine arrive at the scene before he rushed off. "There was a lot of smoke and a lot of people were watching," he said.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, said developer GuocoLand Group.

It said in a statement that there were no casualties and all the workers were accounted for. It added: "The safety of our staff and workers remains our top priority."

This article was first published on March 4, 2016.
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