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Misuse of power boards cause fire deaths in Singapore

The deaths of two construction workers in a deadly fire was an accident, ruled State Coroner Marvin Bay on Friday Oct 2 The cause of the fire was electrical in nature, Mr Bay said.

Singapore Civil Defense and Fire investigations into the cause of the blaze revealed that overloading of socket outlets, had led to the fire. SCDF said the use of multi-way adaptors were “widely-practiced”, and that heat from energized wirings at overloaded socket outlets was the cause of the fire.

In his findings, Mr Bay also noted that there was a “pervasive use of multiway adaptors to accommodate … a multitude of electrical appliances in the improvised dormitory”. The fire broke out in the early hours of Apr 3, 2015, when most occupants of the second-storey unit were asleep. The unit, converted into “an improvised dormitory” had been rented out to 34 foreign workers.

Three men sustained minor injuries and burns after they jumped out of the second-storey of the four-storey building to escape the blaze. 27 other occupants of the unit managed to flee the building unscathed.

The State Coroner said there are dangers in “placing workers in such accommodation”, where no fire safety measures have been put in place, pointing to a similar incident in December last year, in which four foreign workers were killed when their dormitory caught fire. The source of the Dec 6 fire was also electrical in origin.

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