A fire broke out at the SRC at around 1.30 pm on 25 October 1988. It was the refinery’s second major fire; the first occurred on 16 August 1984. Even though the 1988 fire did not claim any lives, it injured 25 people, mostly firefighters, including five who were seriously hurt.
The fire lasted about five days before it was completely extinguished at about 7 am on 30 October. Damages, loss of profit, loss of raw materials (especially naphtha) and construction costs of new tanks were initially estimated by insurers to be between S$15 and S$20 million. In November 1988, then Director of the Singapore Fire Service Arthur Lim estimated damages to be around S$30 million. The fire and temporary closure of SRC caused the price of naphtha to rise by US$15 per tonne in the Far East.
Image Credit: SCDF