A Transcab taxi caught fire in the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) tunnel on Tuesday evening, resulting into the closure of a part of the smoke-filled tunnel during the peak hours. However, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that there were no reports of any injury and the driver is believed to escape unhurt.
SCDF said that it was informed about the fire in the KPE tunnel towards the Tampines Expressway (TPE) and before the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) exit at around 7 pm. It immediately dispatched one fire engine and one support vehicle to the scene. According to reports, the firefighters were able to put out the fire at 7.55 pm.
"The fire, which involves the engine compartment of a taxi, was extinguished by members of the public using a hose reel prior to SCDF arrival," SCDF told Channel NewsAsia.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) tweeted about the incident at around 7.20 pm and advised the motorists to avoid lane four due to the accident on the KPE, towards the Tampines Expressway (TPE), after the East Coast Park entrance.
The authority also directed the motorists to "drive out of the tunnel now via the nearest exit". "If unable, turn off your engine and walk to the nearest emergency exit," the LTA said in an announcement.
The Straits Times reported the broadcast of an LTA announcement saying: "This is an LTA emergency announcement. Drive out of the tunnel now via the nearest exit. If unable, turn off your engine and walk to the nearest emergency exit which has a bluish-white flashing light."
Several photos that were circulated on social media showed a red cab on fire, while a few videos showed smoke filling inside the tunnel.
"I saw a lot of smoke but couldn't see what was on fire. There was an announcement asking people to leave the tunnel," a 52-year-old hotelier Doreen Lim, who was in a taxi heading to Sengkang at about 7.25 pm, told The Straits Times.