SINGAPORE, Feb 14 — A “small explosion” and fire broke out in a switch room at the Carlton Hotel in Bras Basah this afternoon.
There were no reported injuries and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is investigating the cause of the fire.
A spokeswoman from the hotel told TODAY: “At 1.15pm, a small fire and a small explosion was reported in the switch room, located at the back of the hotel. Some people heard a blast along Queen Road.”
“As per our safety protocol, we evacuated all guests and staff, about 1,000 people in total, to an area near Bras Basah complex. Alternative plans were made for guests, such as sending them to Gardens by the Bay.”
Guests were able to enter the hotel lobby at 2.30pm. They were allowed to return back to their rooms at 3.15pm with one of the lifts working by then, added another spokesman for the hotel.
Several Facebook users wrote about hearing the explosion, while some posted photos of SCDF vehicles outside the hotel and others complained about the ensuing blackout.
Facebook user Ricardo Sentosa uploaded a video from nearby Odeon Towers where he was working at the time of the incident, and mentioned that there were “two explosions” at Carlton Hotel.
In the video, Mr Sentosa can be heard saying: “You can see the door handle has been blast open, with smoke coming out.”
The SCDF said they responded to a “fire incident” at 76 Bras Basah Road at about 1.15pm.
“The fire, which was contained within a switch room, was extinguished using fire extinguishers,” it said in a statement.
Electricity supply to several MRT stations and areas in central Singapore was briefly disrupted this afternoon. It is unclear if these incidents are linked.
SBS Transit said that seven stations on the North-East Line were affected by the power outage.
They are: HarbourFront, Outram Park, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Boon Keng and Potong Pasir stations.
“This was due to a dip in the power grid network,” said corporate communications senior vice president Tammy Tan in a press statement.
Emergency lights were turned on during the period, which lasted less than 25 minutes, and train services were not affected, she added.
Energy utility company SP Group also confirmed the blackout in a statement on Facebook, adding that its officers were “immediately deployed to the affected areas”.
Supply was fully restored by 1.21pm to all areas except Carlton Hotel, the group said.
Works are being carried out at the substation serving the hotel and the group is investigating the cause of the incident. — TODAY