An initial investigation conducted by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) is suspecting that the fire which broke out at Mid Valley Megamall this morning was caused by overheated cooling oil. According to the department’s assistant director M Fatta M Amin, initial checks estimated around 12,400 litres of the liquid was used to cool the transformer.
Essentially, JBPM believes that the substation was excessively hot, resulting in the cooling oil to hit its flash point. For context, “flash point” is the minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off vapour to ignite in air, given an ignition source. Speaking to reporters at the scene, M Fatta revealed that the cooling oil used has a flash point of 137-degree celsius.
The assistant director added that there were four TNB substations in the Mid Valley building, but only one of which caught fire but was isolated from the rest. All substations were capable of supplying power within 10 kilometre-radius from the location, he added.
“When one caught fire, we had to employ offensive firefighting measures to extinguish it,” M Fatta told reporters. “We also had to use defensive methods to ensure that the other substations in the building did not catch fire as well.”
17.5.2023: Pasukan Bomba daripada BBP Pantai, BBP Jalan Hang Tuah, BBP Seputeh dan BBP Sri Hartamas seramai 40 orang bersama jentera telah menjalankan operasi pemadaman kebakaran bilik pencawang TNB di bangunan Mid Valley berkeluasan 40×40 kaki persegi & terbakar sebanyak 70%. pic.twitter.com/FzZnEA4xHk
— Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia (@bombaJBPM) May 17, 2023
M Fatta said today’s incident saw a total of 45 personnel as well as three fire engines, two emergency medical rescue services vehicles, rapid intervention motorcycles, two water tankers and an aerial ladder platform deployed to the scene. According to the department and Mid Valley City management, the fire was completely contained and put out at 12:29pm and no casualties were reported.
Both the Megamall and The Gardens Mall, which are located in the same area, have been closed for the day due to the fire. Management has recently confirmed that the two malls will resume operations as usual tomorrow on 18 May 2023.
On a related note, the fire incident at Mid Valley’s TNB substation also caused a major power outage at NU Sentral today, which resulted in its closure for the entire day. However, unlike the two malls aforementioned earlier, its management could not estimate when it would be reopened and a follow-up announcement has yet to be made.
(Source: Bernama / The Star)
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