- POSTED: 01 Oct 2013 18:07
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The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is imposing a total of S$1.1 million in financial penalties on train operators SMRT and SBS Transit for separate incidents in 2012 and 2013.
SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is imposing a total of S$1.1 million in financial penalties on train operators SMRT and SBS Transit.
LTA is imposing financial penalties of S$860,000 on SMRT for four separate incidents that happened in 2012 and 2013.
The heaviest penalty of S$300,000 is for the Newton station trackside fire incident in February this year.
In that incident, SMRT detected a fire on electrical cables about 5 metres from the Newton station.
Northbound train service between Marina Bay and Toa Payoh stations was disrupted for more than two hours.
Nearly 18,000 passengers were affected.
Forensic laboratory tests indicated that the cable fire could have started from exposed conductor wires and the wet conditions in the cable.
The findings also showed it was a localised incident.
In managing the incident, LTA said SMRT had committed several lapses. These include detraining passengers at Newton station rather than at an earlier station further away from the fire.
During the incident, smoke was seen wafting onto the platform. LTA clarified that it was due to human error and not the fault of the ventilation system.
SMRT was also slapped with a S$60,000 penalty for a train launching incident at Bukit Panjang LRT depot in July this year.
In addition, SMRT will be penalised for two other incidents in 2012.
In the first incident, LTA discovered that SMRT had failed to ensure timely rectification to two corroded sections of the Circle Line tracks.
LTA will impose a financial penalty of S$250,000 on SMRT for breaching the licence conditions which require the operator to diligently inspect, maintain and repair the rail network.
In another incident, SMRT staff failed to apply proper procedures while track works were carried being out at Ulu Pandan depot in December last year.
This resulted in a section of the third rail being made "live", thus exposing workers, who were carrying out track works, to danger.
For this, LTA will impose a penalty of S$250,000.
Separately, LTA will also impose S$250,000 on the second train operator SBS Transit for a service disruption on the North East Line in June this year.
In that incident, train services were disrupted on both ways between Woodleigh and Punggol stations for more than two hours.
Nearly 55,000 passengers were affected.
The total intended penalties of S$1.1 million will be donated to the Public Transport Fund to help needy families with transport fares.
SMRT and SBS Transit were informed of the penalties on Tuesday, and they have two weeks to appeal against the fines.
In a statement, SMRT said it acknowledged the fines imposed by LTA in response to the stated lapses in service and compliance with the regulations.
SMRT added that it has reviewed the protocols and improved staff training.
In addition, following the Newton fire incident in February, SMRT has been working closely with LTA and SCDF to re-evaluate fire plans and standing operational procedures for each station.
In another statement, SBS Transit said it has further tightened its operating procedures to ensure that detrainment is strictly carried out within 30 minutes of any service stoppage.