Concerned over two recent cases of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) taxis erupting in flames, Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that all the CNG taxis in Singapore must undergo and pass a mandatory inspection by May 25.
There are about 950 CNG taxis in Singapore. Drivers can send their taxis to any of the nine Authorised vehicle Inspection Centres (AIC) to certify their road worthiness. The taxi inspection is expected to take around ten minutes.
LTA said, “We would like to remind all vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles are regularly maintained and meet the necessary road-worthiness tests.”
There have been two cases of CNG taxis erupting in flames over the last month, with one even exploding. Investigations revealed that both fires were caused by leaking CNG cylinders, which were then ignited by the lighting of cigarettes.
The first took place on April 30 when a Trans-Cab taxi caught fire and exploded near Buona Vista MRT station. Four men, including an SCDF officer, suffered minor burns and were taken to the National University Hospital.
The second incident occurred this Monday, when another Trans-Cab taxi caught fire along Marymount Road near the junction of Sin Ming Avenue. The cabby was sent to the Singapore General Hospital with burn injuries. Incidentally, both the cases involved the same car model — a Toyota Wish.
Pointedly, Trans-Cab operates 920 CNG taxis in Singapore, with the remainder owned by SMRT.
The LTA said it is working closely with the taxi companies and the National Taxi Association to ensure that all CNG taxi drivers are informed of the latest requirement.
Issuing advisory to the people, LTA said, “CNG vehicle owners are also reminded to not smoke in their vehicles and if they detect any sulphur-type odour (similar to the smell of rotten eggs), please proceed to an AIC immediately for an inspection."