Apology from Water Supplies Department for fire in Lion Rock Tunnel

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) apologises to the public for the fire incident at Lion Rock Tunnel today (March 8). The incident, which occurred during work to water mains on the south-bound side of the carriageway, caused road closure and consequent traffic congestion. As non-inflammable materials were being used and no combustion was needed during the work, the cause of fire is pending further investigation.

A spokesman for the WSD said that there are three water mains under the south-bound carriageway of Lion Rock Tunnel. The Replacement and Rehabilitation Programme of the carriageway's water mains has been carried out in phases since 2008/2009. At about 3am this morning, a fire broke out when workers operating for WSD's contractor were applying non-inflammable protective materials to the outer shell of the water mains beneath the carriageway. Thirty-five workers followed site emergency procedures and evacuated safely to ground level through emergency exits. No one was injured.

Since the procedures for applying the protective materials to the shell of the water mains did not involve any combustion, the cause of fire has yet to be ascertained.

The spokesman said that a contingency plan and related procedures were formulated before the commencement of the work, allowing for workers to evacuate to the ground swiftly and safely in case of emergency. The contingency plan worked effectively during today's fire incident. The Water Supplies Department will evaluate whether it is necessary to further strengthen the relevant procedures and measures. The spokesman added that water supply was not affected by the fire.

Ends/Thursday, March 8, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:50