June 28, 2017

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Communication

by Sharanya Pillai

IN THE aftermath of Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) response to the fire at Terminal 2 (T2), the report card is mixed.

There was some praise for CAG’s response. Aviation experts approved of the move to shut down the entire terminal, even though the the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that the fire, which was in a room storing air-conditioning equipment, was “small”. While some have pinpointed the airport’s open design as a contributing factor to the spread of the smoke, another expert conceded that the “benefits of an open design outweigh the fire problems”.

Meanwhile, the SCDF was lauded by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for dealing with two other fires on the same day, in Punggol Field and a Woodlands condominium.

So far, so good. CAG, however, is still battling flames over its communications strategy, with some people noting that passengers could have been notified earlier, and the transfer of passengers from T2 to T3 managed better. CAG has acknowledged the delay, but a few questions also remain, such as how exactly the fire started and whether it could have been prevented.

As more details trickle in, we look at some key numbers about the incident.

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30 minutes was how long it took for an evacuation to be ordered by the chief of the Airport Emergency Service after the fire was detected.

15,000 is the estimated number of people, including airport staff, evacuated from T2.

40 is the number of T2 flights affected.

1,000 is the estimated number of people stranded on the tarmac, and

4 hours is how long they were stuck there before being transferred to T3.

1 hour was how long the SCDF took to put out the fire.

1 hour lapsed between the detection of the fire and CAG posting social media updates on Facebook and Twitter about the situation.

Another hour later, CAG announced on social media that T2 flights will be moved to T3.

7 is the number of people provided with medical assistance. Three were taken to Changi General Hospital for smoke inhalation, while four were treated at the airport clinic.

3 is the number of units damaged in T2. Restaurants Chutney Mary and Nando’s on the third floor suffered water damage from the sprinklers while an office on the fifth floor was flooded.

8 hours 50 mins was approximately how long T2 was shut down for.

Some 24 hours after the scare, the world’s best airport is up and running again, with the exception of the damaged eateries. CAG said that it is continuing investigations with the authorities.

 

 

Featured image by Wikimedia user Terence Ong CC BY-SA 3.0.

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