SINGAPORE: Two SMRT staff have been sacked over a fatal accident near Pasir Ris MRT station in March, when two trainees were hit and killed by an oncoming train, the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) confirmed on Wednesday (Sep 14).
Channel NewsAsia understands that one of the two staff members sacked was the driver of the train that hit the two trainees.
According to Mr Melvin Yong, the union’s executive secretary, NTWU had asked SMRT not to take action against the staff until official investigations were completed.
“The NTWU understands that SMRT has taken action to dismiss two workers related to the incident,” he said. “NTWU has previously written to SMRT to withhold any actions against the affected workers until completion of official investigations so as to not prejudice the outcome of the official investigations.”
NTWU will review the situation, study the grounds for dismissal and work with the affected staff on their next steps, Mr Yong said.
“The union will continue to render affected staff the necessary support and assistance during this difficult time, as we have since the incident,” he added.
On Mar 22, SMRT trainees Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24, were killed after they were hit by an oncoming train near Pasir Ris MRT station. The two men were part of a team investigating a possible fault involving a signalling device on the tracks.
The public transport operator admitted after the accident that maintenance staff had not followed safety procedures.
In response to a query from Channel NewsAsia, SMRT’s Vice President of Corporate Information and Communications Patrick Nathan said: “We do not comment on staff disciplinary measures.”
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also said in a joint statement that it was an "internal decision" by SMRT to sack the staff.
"Investigations by MOM and LTA are ongoing and will be based on the facts of the case," the authorities added.