Singapore, Malaysia take part in first mock chemical spill exercise since pandemic, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Singapore, Malaysia take part in first mock chemical spill exercise since pandemic

About 16 agencies and companies from Singapore and Malaysia conducted an exercise on Wednesday to test their readiness to handle chemical spills on the Tuas Second Link, the first such event since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The exercise, in its 13th run, tests the effectiveness of the chemical spill emergency response plan jointly developed by Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and Malaysia’s Department of Environment, the agencies said on Wednesday.

Four organisations from Singapore, including the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force, and 12 from Malaysia, such as the Royal Malaysian Police and Department of Health, were involved in the exercise.

It simulated an accident between a motorcycle and a car, which occurred in front of a lorry carrying 10 drums of hydrochloric acid while the vehicles were moving towards Singapore.

To avoid a collision, the lorry driver swerved and hit the barrier wall on Tuas Second Link, causing five drums of hydrochloric acid to fall on the road.

Two drums rolled over to Singapore’s part of the bridge and ruptured. Three drums remained in Malaysia’s part of the bridge, where two ruptured.

The lorry attendant and the motorcyclist suffered serious injuries, while the car and lorry driver had minor injuries.

Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and can cause burns. Inhalation of its vapour can pose a health hazard, causing symptoms like choking, circulatory failure and death.

NEA chief executive Wong Kang Jet said he was heartened at how the agencies from both countries worked together in planning and executing the emergency response plan.

“This exercise is also a commitment by both countries to respond swiftly and effectively to any chemical spill incident at the Tuas Second Link, and I look forward to future cooperation with our Malaysian counterparts in time to come,” he said.

Mr Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar, director-general of Malaysia’s Department of Environment, said he appreciated the cooperation of the agencies in both countries.

“This cooperation demonstrates preparedness in the face of any chemical spill incident that may occur in the future, especially in Tuas Second Link,” he said.

Singapore and Malaysia agreed that hazardous chemicals would be transported between the two nations only via the Tuas Second Link when it opened in 1998. As large amounts of chemicals are transported, a response plan was developed to deal with accidents and emergencies.

Together with Malaysia’s Department of Environment, we successfully conducted an emergency response exercise on tackling...

Posted by National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday, July 25, 2023