Swift action by firemen averts explosion at S'wak silicon plant


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 12 Oct 2019

MIRI: Swift action by firefighters averted a potential explosion after a fire broke out at a huge silicon-product processing plant in Samalaju Industrial Estate in northern Sarawak.

The fire broke out at the plant, located about 150km south of Miri, at around 3.30pm on Friday (Oct 11).

Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department said the fire was swiftly tackled and doused within an hour by the department and the plant's emergency response team.

The fire is believed to have sparked off after an incident where hydrogen reacted with silicon at a section of the plant.

"Bomba Samalaju received an alert from the plant supervisor after they saw fire and smoke billowing from the plant.

"The plant's emergency response team deployed 48 firefighters to fight the flames.

"The Bomba Samalaju teams arrived shortly after and fought the fire and stopped it from spreading.

"No one was injured in the incident," said the department in its updates.

Initial probe showed that hydrogen gas somehow got mixed with some silicon products and sparked off the fire, Bomba Sarawak said.

The plant belonged to a foreign company involved in manufacturing chemical products and solar energy devices.

Hydrogen gas is highly flammable and potentially explosive if leaked into the atmosphere.

The Samalaju Industrial Estate is the biggest heavy industry zone in Sarawak, with dozens of facilities producing steel products, chemicals, aluminium and petrochemical items.


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