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Close call for condo tenant as water heater explodes

SINGAPORE: A 39-year-old Australian tenant of a condominium unit at Cote D'Azur in Marine Parade was reading a book on mortality just seconds before an explosion ripped through the bathroom and his master bedroom last Saturday.
The electric storage water heater in the en-suite bathroom had exploded, ripping the bathroom door off its hinges and blowing out the bathroom window.
The force sent the door flying across the bedroom, moved the bed, and smashed the windows and glass doors to the connecting balcony.
The bathroom window landed about 10m away from the building, said the tenant, who would give his name only as Eduardo.
His wife's make-up and other personal effects were also blown out the window.
"I was sitting on my bed reading at 4.50pm when my wife asked me to go to my daughter's room before going for a walk at East Coast Park. If she had not called me over, I would have been badly injured."
The Singapore Civil Defence Force is investigating.
Eduardo had taken a bath just 30 minutes before the incident. He said the heater was switched off when the explosion occurred.
He said: "The heater was hanging from the ceiling, some water was dripping off. The ceiling was also badly damaged."
The family, who moved to Singapore in June, are now staying in a nearby hotel.
Eduardo said storage water heaters should be located outside the apartment, where air-conditioning units are also placed.
"It was ironic that I was reading that book on mortality. I was very lucky to have got out of the room. Hopefully there are some safety lessons to help other people."
A repair technician told Shin Min Daily News that such heaters usually have safety mechanisms, such as a pressure relief valve. The technician said heaters should be switched off when not in use.
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