Worker dies after inhaling toxic gas: reports

Two others in intensive care as safety timeout called in response to incident

Worker dies after inhaling toxic gas: reports

One worker died while two others are in intensive care after inhaling hydrogen sulphide gas while cleaning a tank at PUB's Choa Chu Kang Waterworks, according to reports.

The worker who died was identified as Srinivasan Sivaraman, a 40-year-old Indian national who was employed as a cleaning operations manager by Supersonic Maintenance Services, Channel News Asia reported.

Sivaraman's remains were handed over to his family and friends on May 26, and was taken to India for the final rites on May 28, according to The Straits Times.

Meanwhile, two Malaysian workers with Sivaraman at the time of the incident remain in intensive care, said Stargroup Est, which employs one of the workers.

Safety incident report

According to the CNA, the workers inhaled hydrogen sulphide, a highly toxic and flammable gas that is a by-product of the water treatment process, while cleaning tanks at PUB's Choa Chu Kang Waterworks last Thursday.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), which responded to the scene, said the three workers were unconscious when their personnel arrived, with Sivaraman dying later that day.

PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency, expressed its deepest condolences to Sivaraman's family and vowed support to his bereaved family members.

"Safety and health at all our workplaces are of utmost importance to PUB. We will cooperate fully with the investigation," a PUB spokesperson told CNA.

Safety timeout called

In response to the incident, the agency also called for a "safety timeout" for similar operations in confined spaces that will only be lifted when they are "satisfied that the necessary safety measures are in place."

The Ministry of Manpower also instructed PUB to halt all tank-cleaning works, stressing that proper ventilation should be provided to prevent accumulation of toxic vapours.

"Workers must also be protected from excessive exposure to toxic vapours by equipping them with gas monitoring devices, and the appropriate personal protective equipment such as respirator mask and breathing apparatus," MOM said as quoted by CNA.

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