Thursday, July 01, 2004

Blackout blow to Singapore 

In April, we had a collapse at the MRT construction site along Nicoll Highway and at the Fusionpolis construction site along Ayer Rajah Avenue. In May, we had a fire breaking out on an oil tanker at a shipyard along Benoi Road.

On Tuesday night, a massive blackout hit Singapore, making it three months in a row that the country has experienced an industrial mishap. Fortunately, there were no deaths this time round, unlike in the previous three incidents. The only injuries reported were a motorcyclist and his pillion rider, who were hit by a car at a junction where the traffic lights had failed because of the power failure.

According to The Straits Times today, an emergency alarm had triggered a valve to shut at a gas pipeline, for reasons which are still unknown. A backup system involving a switch to diesel fuel failed, apparently because there was not enough residual gas to feed the turbines during the transition.

Although there were no fatalities, this incident is a smear on Singapore's reputation as an efficient country where everything is supposed to work. At a time when Singapore's economic recovery is still fragile, it cannot afford to have more incidents like this to scare potential investors.


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