Top 10 Headlines That Shook Singapore (Since 1955)


9. 12 October 1978 – The Spyros Disaster

It was the worst industrial accident in Singapore’s history. At about 2pm of 12 October 1978, Liberian-registered Greek tanker Spyros exploded at the Jurong shipyard, killing 76 people and injuring hundreds.

Due to the after-lunch timing, the number of casualties increased dramatically, as many workers were returning to the repair works. Many were burnt to death. Others suffered serious burns and inhalation of toxic gases.


During the seventies, safety practices at the shipyard was not strongly enforced. A repair cutting tool might have caused the sparks to ignite the vapour of the crude oil on the tanker. More safety regulations were implemented after the disaster.

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