July 21, 2022

Tuas blast: Stars Engrg, director and production manager charged in court

By brit

SINGAPORE – Local firm Stars Engrg, its sole director Chua Xing Da, and production manager Lwin Moe Tun were charged in a district court on Thursday (July 21) over an explosion at the company’s Tuas workshop last year that killed three workers and injured seven others.

Stars Engrg, represented by Chua, was handed two charges under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA).

The company, which is in the business of installing fire protection systems, is accused of failing to take measures to ensure that its workers and the machinery at the workshop was safe.

In particular, it is said to have failed to ensure that its employees received adequate training and supervision to operate a heated mixer machine, and that the machine was safe for use.

The machine was used to make an insulation material called fire wrap by heating up an oil jacket that wrapped around the main mixer compartment of the machine.

It exploded on Feb 24 last year at around 11.20am at the workshop situated at 32E Tuas Avenue 11, killing three workers.

Mr Subbaiyan Marimuthu, 38, Mr Anisuzzaman Md, 29, and Mr Shohel Md, 23, died from severe burns that covered 90 per cent of their bodies.

Chua, 38, faces two charges under the WSHA for failing to ensure the safety of his employees and the use of machinery at the workshop. He was also handed a charge of obstructing the course of justice.

He had allegedly told Lwin Moe Tun, a 32-year-old Myanmar national, that it was “OK” to delete communications the latter had with Mr Marimuthu from his mobile phone.

Lwin Moe Tun was handed a charge of acting negligently, which endangered the safety of the workers, and two counts of obstructing the course of justice.

As the production manager, he oversaw the production of fire-retardant wraps at the Tuas workshop.

He is said to have allowed the workers to conduct repairs on a damaged heater, which was part of the mixer machine, even though it was not safe.

Lwin Moe Tun is also accused of deleting a message and photograph from a WhatsApp conversation he had with Mr Marimuthu on both their mobile phones, relating to the unsafe changing of the faulty heater.