(1 January 2004, Singapore) If you ever find yourself with a leaking fuel
tank on your motorbike, be sure to heed this lesson from a 39-year-old man
from the Bukit Panjang neighborhood. He removed the leaky tank from the
bike and carried it to his sixth-floor flat, where he drained the gasoline
into a pail in his toilet. Considering what happened next, it was
fortunate that nobody else was in the flat, and that nobody was standing on
manhole covers a block away.
He lit a propane torch, planning to solder the hole in the tank.
Unfortunately, gasoline that had spilled on his hand caught fire.
Frantically trying to extinguish the flames by plunging his hand into the
toilet, he ignited the gasoline fumes coming from the pail. The toilet was
engulfed in a ball of fire, and the explosion "shook the block." Smoke
poured out of the bathroom window.
That was just the beginning. Some of the burning gasoline spilled down a
floor drain and into the sewer system, where it mingled with sewer gas and
set off a massive underground explosion. Startled residents watched in
amazement as one manhole cover was "blown to pieces," and two others popped
open. People fled their homes, fearing disaster.
The man survived all of this chaos with minor burns on his left hand, for
which he refused treatment.
"When a idea goes from bad to worse..."
"I'm Jumping Jack Flash, it's a gas gas gas." -Rolling Stones
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Submitted by: Olivia Lee
Reference: Channel NewsAsia, Singapore Straits Times