News Releases

Singtel releases preliminary findings on cause of fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange

Recommendations by the Singtel Board Committee of Inquiry to follow

Singapore, 6 November 2013 - Singtel has completed its preliminary investigation into the cause of fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange on 9 October 2013.

The incident occurred during maintenance work at one of the lead-in pipes located in the cable chamber. Our investigations showed that the fire was caused by an employee not following strict maintenance procedures, including the use of an unauthorised blowtorch.

The fire was localised 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 on-going. The BCOI reports to the Board of Singtel. The BCOI 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.

A concurrent independent review by the Singtel Board Committee of Inquiry (BCOI) is on-going. The BCOI reports to the Board of Singtel. The BCOI 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.

Ms Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO of Singtel, said: “We recognise the importance of reliable communication services to customers and Singapore’s status as a leading financial and business hub. We apologise unreservedly to all our customers for any inconvenience caused. We are committed to learning from this experience and welcome recommendations from the BCOI and independent experts to enhance our operations.”

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