SINGAPORE: Two SMRT maintenance staff have died after an accident near Pasir Ris station, the transport operator confirmed on Tuesday (Mar 22).
2 SMRT staff dead in accident near Pasir Ris station
Commuters seen walking on the track in the aftermath of the SMRT accident that killed two workers this morning. http://bit.ly/21EOQ0t(Video from a viewer who wishes to remain anonymous)Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, 22 March 2016
"At around 11.10am today, there was an accident involving two SMRT maintenance staff along the track at a servicing point near Pasir Ris station," said SMRT spokesman Patrick Nathan in a statement.
"SCDF was immediately activated and they have confirmed that the two SMRT staff have passed away. We convey our deepest condolences to their families and will be providing support to them at this very difficult time," he said.
VICTIMS WERE UNDERGOING ON-THE-JOB TRAINING
The staff that died are Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26 and Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24. According to SMRT, both of them "joined the company in January 2016 and were undergoing on-the-job training at the time of the accident".
"(They) were part of a technical team that went down to the track to investigate a reported alarm from a condition monitoring device for signalling equipment. Permission to access the track was authorised," said Mr Nathan.
"Initial findings indicate that before the accident happened, the team was moving in a single file on the walkway beside the track, on the way to the location of the signalling equipment."
The brother of a signals officer who witnessed the accident told Channel NewsAsia that the signals officer was "traumatised".
Pasir Ris resident Francis Dorairaj, who was at the scene, expressed shock and disbelief. "Why were maintenance people on the track when the train was operating?" he questioned.
Resident on SMRT incident
SMRT said it is assisting the Police in their investigations into how the accident happened. The Land Transport Authority has also said that it "will be be assisting with investigation into the incident".
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the transport regulator said it is "deeply saddened" by the deaths and where necessary, it will extend assistance to the victims' next-of-kin.
A stationary train along the East-West Line following the incident. (Photo: Yeo Kai Ting)
Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Transport, Sitoh Yih Pin told Channel NewsAsia that he is "sure that a proper and thorough investigation into the accident will be conducted".
"Speculation about the accident should be kept to a minimum. All of us will know the details of the accident once the investigation findings are ready to be released," he said.
Police said they were informed of the incident at about 11.15am. Upon arrival at the scene, they found two men motionless. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene, police said, adding that they are investigating the unnatural death.
TRAIN SERVICES RESUMED AT 1.56PM
Train services along the East-West Line were also disrupted for about 2.5 hours. Free shuttle bus services were available until service between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris in both directions were resumed at 1.56pm.
The train disruption on the East-West Line on Mar 22, 2016. (Photo: Diane Leow)
Social media users reported seeing several people on the tracks before noon.
According to SCDF, it was alerted to the incident at Pasir Ris MRT station at 11.11am. A fire engine, A Red Rhino, two fire bikes, two ambulances, and three support vehicles were dispatched. SCDF confirmed that two men were pronounced dead at the scene.
An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 commuters were affected in the 2.5-hour disruption in train service, said the transport operator.