Worker at Tanjong Pagar Centre fire: 'The lorry I was in filled with smoke'
Fire at Tanjong Pagar construction site
He was hungrily tucking into his dinner in his parked lorry and did not notice other workers running towards the exit of the construction site.
It was only when lorry driver Michael Mike, 34, heard crackling noises and an acrid smell hit his nose that he realised something was amiss: A fire had broken out just 10m away from his parked lorry at the construction site.
The fire broke out at the site of the upcoming Tanjong Pagar Centre, beside International Plaza on Anson Road, yesterday at about 6pm.
Works on the building are expected to finish by the middle of the year. When completed, Tanjong Pagar Centre will be Singapore's tallest building at 290m, surpassing UOB Plaza One, One Raffles Place and Republic Plaza, which all stand at 280m tall.
The $3.2 billion integrated mixed-use development sits above Tanjong Pagar MRT station.
Said Mr Mike, who is Malaysian: "Most of the workers here are Bangladeshis, so I didn't catch what they were yelling about at first.
"After a minute, the lorry I was in filled with smoke. I just left my food behind and ran towards the exit."
He joined the construction workers, who had evacuated to a grass patch along Wallich Street.
"The fire was not that big but there was a lot of smoke," said Mr Mike.
PHOTO: NAMHTO NIRO
Student Rahmadan Saifuddin, 19, was coming out of Tanjong Pagar MRT station when he saw that the shutters at one of the exits had been lowered.
He said: "They only opened a small door for commuters to enter and exit the station."
As soon as he exited the underground station, he saw plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the site.
Mr Richard Benjamin, 35, was leaving his workplace in Shenton Way when he saw the fire.
The marketing executive said: "The smoke spread upwards so when I walked into the MRT station, it was like nothing had happened outside. There wasn't any smoke smell at all."
DRAMATIC: (Above) Witnesses said that although the fire was not that big, there was a lot of smoke. The fire was put out within 10 minutes. PHOTOS: GAVIN FOO, PHYLLICIA WANG, TWITTER/@KHAINOAH, YEOH ZHAOYUE
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the fire involved construction materials occupying an area about 10m by 10m at the ground floor of the construction site.
SCDF put out the blaze with two water jets within 10 minutes. No injuries were reported.
Tanjong Pagar Centre's developer Guocoland Group said all the workers had been accounted for.
In a media statement, it said that the cause of the fire is under investigation.