Just yesterday (22 February), Chen, a resident in the area heard loud noises that sounded like explosions around 11.10 am. He left his house to investigate.
He told Lianhe Zhaobao, “The manhole cover didn’t fly out but black smoke kept coming out of the sewer.”
Another resident, Douglas, who lives 50 metres away from the manhole said there was a brief power outage at his home for two to three minutes but he was unsure if it was related to the incident.
At 11.20 am, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted by a call for assistance regarding a manhole in Bishan near 34 Binchang Rise.
Using a thermal imager, SCDF firefighters detected heat signatures coming from a nearby manhole. Later, they found burn marks on the insulation sleeves of some electrical cables but there was no sign of fire.
For everyone’s safety, SCDF worked with police officers to evacuate 30 residents within the vicinity.
To cool the manhole, water was pumped in to cool it down. Using a hazardous substance detector, SCDF checked for dangerous substances. The area with a radius of 100m was also cordoned off.
SCDF confirmed that no one was hurt and the cause of the fire is now under investigation.