Lagoon View, Laguna Park residents hit by long gas shutdown

(PHOTOS: Google Street View screengrabs)
(PHOTOS: Google Street View screengrabs)

SINGAPORE — Up to thousands of condominium residents in the east of Singapore have been left without gas supply, following the shutdown of gas networks at Laguna Park and Lagoon View.

This is due to a gas leak at an underground gas pipe within Laguna Park’s premises, said an SP Group (SP) spokesperson in response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore. As Laguna Park’s and Lagoon View’s internal gas networks are currently linked, the gas supply to both condominiums had to be shut down for safety reasons, in order to isolate the leak.

The condominiums, which are located a stone's throw from each other, have almost a thousand units in total. They are located near the upcoming Siglap MRT station. Lagoon View is also known for the historic Bedok Lighthouse, Singapore's first fully automated and unmanned lighthouse.

While the number of residents utilising the gas networks is unknown, Singapore's town gas network serves about 61 per cent of households and is used mainly for cooking and water heating, according to the Department of Statistics.

The SP Group spokesperson said the grid owner and operator was alerted to a gas leak at Laguna Park on Friday morning (6 August). At around 2pm, it coordinated with the managements of both condominiums to shut the gas supply.

A notice posted at Lagoon View on Saturday had said the shutdown would last for four days. It advised residents, "Do check and ensure that your gas stove or hobs is turned off."

However, Lagoon View resident Gerard Van Huise, 66, said he had been informed that there would be no gas for about the next three weeks by the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST), which manages the condominium. At least one other resident at Lagoon View received the same information, while another said he had received no updates from the MCST.

As of Wednesday morning, some residents of both condominiums reported that the gas supply was still down.

PHOTO: Lagoon View resident
PHOTO: Lagoon View resident

"I tried to switch on the gas on Saturday and thought I didn’t pay my bill. We were not informed (initially)," said Van Huise, who lives with his wife, three adult children and a helper. The family typically cooks every day.

Multiple calls to piped town gas retailer City Gas and the MCST ensued before he discovered what had happened. "We either go out to eat or order online now, but even making a cup of coffee or boiled eggs is a problem," said Van Huise, who expressed concern for other condominium residents, many of whom are elderly.

Over at Laguna Park, a hard copy notice on Wednesday informed residents that the gas leak may take two to three weeks to repair. The MCST added that it is getting clarification from the government on whether Lagoon View must share the cost of repairs, or the government will bear the cost. In the meantime, it advised residents to use electric cookers or switch to gas cylinders.

Small business owner Elizabeth Soh, 33, and her helper have been cooking on a portable gas stove and hotplate. The mother of two said there had been largely "radio silence" from the MCST on the matter. "The MCST didn't notify us of any gas issue, it was just from asking around (that I knew it was a bigger problem). My brother lives in Lagoon View and he was not informed either."

She added, "It's disruptive but not too difficult to work around. We supplemented by ordering delivery. We usually cook at least one main meal a day."

According to SP, the Laguna Park MCST, as the party responsible for the gas pipe, has been advised to engage a licensed gas service worker or professional engineer to carry out the repair.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to the Laguna Park MCST for comment.

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