KUALA LUMPUR: The two trains involved in an underground collision along the Kelana Jaya Light Rail Transit (LRT) have been successfully retrieved, said Malaysian Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong in a Facebook post on Thursday (May 27).
The minister said he has received a report from Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd’s Recovery Team that the TR40 train had reached the Subang depot at 3.45am, while the TR81 train had reached the Gombak tail track at 4.51am.
“Prasarana (the parent company of Rapid Rail) will concentrate track repair efforts between Kampung Baru station and KLCC station. But the recovery team has to power down the entire affected stretch from Dang Wangi station to Damai station, involving five LRT stations along the affected stretch,” Dr Wee said.
The recovery of the trains, he noted, has taken place earlier than the three days previously promised. The recovery team worked on three non-stop shifts.
Once repairs along the stretch have been completed, checks would be made by the Land Public Transport Agency to confirm that the track is safe for use.
Due to the power down, as well as the closure of one track after the accident, Dr Wee said there was a bottleneck as only one track was operational between seven stations from Damai to Pasar Seni. This resulted in a 16-minute journey between the seven stations.
To ease the bottleneck, two trains have been entering the track in the same direction, known as the "platoon" method, he added.
He also said that 58 LRT trains have been operating fully along the Kelana Jaya line without reduction in frequency.
“I promise that Prasarana will spare no effort in repairing the track today so that the Kelana Jaya LRT Line service will be restored fully at the earliest,” Dr Wee said.
Once the track is fully repaired, the bottleneck effect would cease and LRT service would operate at 50 per cent capacity as mandated in the tightened Movement Control Order (MCO) restrictions which are in effect till Jun 7, without reduction in frequency, the minister stated.
The Monday night accident, which took place at the underground KLCC station in the city centre, saw 213 people injured, with six victims reportedly in critical care.
READ: 2 victims in LRT train collision in KL undergo brain surgery; another needed cerebral resuscitation
Dr Wee said in a press conference on Tuesday that driver negligence was the cause of the accident. He later clarified that human error was just a single facet of the investigation into why the incident occured.
On Wednesday, Malaysia's Ministry of Finance, which wholly owns Prasarana, terminated Mr Tajuddin Abdul Rahman's tenure as chairman "with immediate effect."
The announcement came after public criticism over Mr Tajuddin's conduct during a Tuesday press conference on the accident. The Pasir Salak lawmaker is also being investigated by the police for not wearing a mask during the press conference.