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SingTel Releases Preliminary Findings on Cause of Fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange

By Joy Hou - on 6 Nov 2013, 6:25pm

SingTel Releases Preliminary Findings on Cause of Fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange

SingTel has completed its preliminary investigation into the cause of fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange which occurred on the 9th of October.

According to the local telco, the incident occurred during maintenance work at one of the lead-in pipes located in the cable chamber. The company's investigations showed that the fire was caused by an employee not following strict maintenance procedures, including the use of an unauthorized blowtorch. The fire was localized at the affected lead-in pipe, one of three separate pipes that houses cables connecting to customer homes and business premises.

SingTel immediately activated contingency and diversification plans. By successfully re-routing traffic through other exchanges, services for the majority of customers served by the Bukit Panjang Exchange continued uninterrupted.

SingTel treats this incident very seriously and has always ensured that its contingency plans and safety measures meet global benchmarks. It has since strengthened existing processes and measures to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents.

These measures include:-

  • Limiting maintenance work which requires heat to be applied
  • Introducing improved tools and equipment
  • Reinforcing training on safety requirements and operations

A concurrent independent review by the SingTel Board Committee of Inquiry (BCOI) is ongoing. The BCOI reports to the Board of SingTel, and is responsible for investigating the facts and circumstances leading to the fire, reviewing and recommending improvements into the company’s incident management, network design, and contingency processes.

In the interest of transparency, the Board will make the BCOI findings and recommendations public.

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