More than half of St John’s Island sealed off over asbestos traces: reports

Photo informing visitors that parts of St. John’s Island are sealed off: St. John’s Island Marine Laboratory/Facebook

CORRECTION: The Singapore Land Authority has informed the media to clarify that the lagoons on St. John’s Island are not accessible to the public. This article has been updated.

Traces of the potentially toxic asbestos have been found on St John’s Island, prompting the authorities to seal off half of the island as a precaution, according to media reports on Monday (23 April).

The compound was detected on construction debris such as roof tiles on one of the lagoons, the campsite and the holiday bungalow area on the island on 16 April, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said at a media briefing on Monday.

While there is a low risk of visitors to the island developing asbestos-related diseases, SLA said it cordoned off the affected areas on 17 April as a precaution. SLA closed off the campsite and the lagoons, and cancelled bookings for the bungalow. It is also investigating the origin of the asbestos-tainted debris on the island.

The affected areas are expected to be re-opened in mid-2019 after the asbestos is removed and other construction works are completed, SLA said.

Visitors to St John’s Island can still visit Lazarus Island, which is linked to St John’s by a bridge.