Environment

Orange Flame Lights Up Eastern S’pore Night Sky On 17 Jun, Likely From Johor Plant

Singaporeans Report Orange Flame In Night Sky, Some Also See One In The West

A few nights ago, Singaporeans were treated to the sight of a rare strawberry supermoon.

On Friday (18 Jun), however, a light-up of a different kind was spotted.

A large orange flame brightened up the night sky and was reported by several people in Eastern Singapore.

Source: Reddit

The flame was suspected by netizens to be from an oil and gas plant in Johor that’s close to Changi.

Photos of orange flame in night sky shared online

The orange flame was reported by members of the CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore Facebook group on Friday (17 Jun) night.

Many of them shared photos of a clear spot of flame lighting up the sky in the East, even up till 11.30pm.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

The flame could be seen from afar by Singaporeans looking east towards Changi.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

A photo taken by a woman at Bedok Jetty showed that it was strong enough to illuminate the numerous clouds in the sky, causing them to turn orange too.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

She also said she has been seeing the flame for three days in a row.

Flame causes orange glow in sky

Even netizens whose view of the flame was obscured managed to notice an orange glow in the sky.

 

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

One noted that it looked like there was a plume of smoke coming from the flame, but this was actually just a cloud above that had turned orange due to its glow.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

The light-up was also observed above heartland shops in Block 214, Bedok North Street 1.

Source: Reddit

The orange reflection of the flame in the clouds could even be seen from as far north as Woodlands.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

Flame likely from Johor plant

Some Singaporeans might have been concerned that there may be a large flame burning in Singapore.

However, a netizen on Reddit opined that it’s actually from a refinery from Pengerang.

They’re possibly referring to the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), located in Pengerang, Johor — across the water from the Eastern end of Singapore.

Source: Petronas

The PIPC includes the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC), a petrochemical park developed by Malaysian oil firm Petronas.

As part of normal operations, oil refineries undergo a process known as “flaring”, which is a safety device.

It happens when gases must be released to prevent accumulation in the equipment, and is designed to ensure maximum and environmentally sound combustion instead of releasing the vapour directly into the atmosphere.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

Previous explosion at Johor plant

The PIPC is the same complex that unfortunately caught fire after an explosion rocked the facility in 2019.

The loud boom in the early hours of the morning rattled Singaporeans across the East and some parts of the north.

Thankfully, the fire was extinguished and contained within just 30 minutes.

Orange flame in the West, too

Curiously, though most reports of the orange flame came from the East, some Singaporeans in the West also saw a similar flame.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

A netizen from Teck Whye in Chua Chu Kang shared a photo of a tall and bright dot of light.

Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

One netizen even said he could see the glow from both flames from his vantage point, and posted photos and videos of them.

The flame in the West. Source: CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook

Flame in the West from Jurong Island

A netizen on Reddit said the flame seen in the West was likely from Jurong Island.

Specifically, it could be from ExxonMobil’s chemical plant in Singapore.

Source: Reddit

In Nov 2019, a similar flame seen in the West was attributed to ExxonMobil’s plant on Jurong Island, which was doing flaring.

A year later, in Nov 2020, orange skies in Jurong were also said to be the result of industrial activities at the refineries and chemical plants on Jurong Island.

One netizen did, however, trot out an old joke by comparing the flame(s) to the Eye of Sauron from Mordor, an imitable part of the Lord of the Rings movies.

Source: Reddit

Don’t be alarmed

One thing about being a small country is we sometimes see the effects of activities being conducted by our closest neighbours like Malaysia.

However, considering these are a normal part of operations, Singaporeans shouldn’t be unduly alarmed when they see flames in the sky.

At least we can be treated to surreal scenes of the night sky straight out of the movies.

Did you see the flames in the night sky? Do share your photos with us below if you did.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured images courtesy of CloudSpotting & SkySpotting Singapore on Facebook and Reddit.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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