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Instagram or death - The Newton MRT station fire

A fire broke out at the Newton MRT on Wednesday, just as Singaporeans were reporting back to work. However, the online frenzy wasn't about the fire but about this Instagram photo below.

In case of fire, what do you do? Take out your mobile camera, take an image and post it on Instagram or run for your life to the nearest exit.

Many online said this Instagramer was silly to have done the later as the Instagramer valued photographing against her life.

Let's give this Instagramer the benefit of doubt. Maybe the Instagramer judged that at the moment, while the smoke was getting thicker, there was no present danger which allowed this Instagramer to take the photo.

Is it worth taking this photo?

The answer would be best answered by the Instagramer, but to me, I would say yes it was worth it.

A picture is worth a thousand words. If the mainstream media were to have reported this, without this photo, it would have been just another fire at the MRT station which the Singapore Civil Defence Force put out in minutes. All that is left for the readers is to only imagine the extend of the fire.

This photo helped readers to visualise the severity of the fire. The photo also showed how smoke inhalation is usually the cause of deaths in fire, rather than the fire itself.

This begs the questions of how smoke proof are the MRT stations designated as bomb shelters. Can smoke or any biological or chemicals sneak into these bomb shelters, creating a false sense of safety in times of war? We do know that war is a dirty affair and the enemy will use any means to achieve their objectives.

The authorities have found the cause of the fire to be a short circuit which was results of the heavy rain. Shouldn't the wires on the tracks be properly insulated from water? How could this have happened?

Lots of questions, but I hope it doesn't take another COI for SMRT to take preventive action.


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