SINGAPORE: A total of 517 passengers were on a train travelling at 16km/hour when it collided with a stationary train at Joo Koon MRT station on Wednesday (Nov 15) morning, SMRT said in a joint press conference with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday evening.
Most of the passengers injured in the incident suffered bruises from knocks and falls, which occurred after a software protection feature was inadvertently disabled, said Mr Chua Chong Kheng, Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Development, LTA.
The train captain was one of the injured, said Mr Alvin Kek, Senior Vice President of Rail Operations (NSEWL) at SMRT Trains.
At least one passenger fainted because of low blood sugar, while another passenger suffered a face injury and a broken tooth.
Care teams are following up with the passengers, including on medical expenses, said Mr Kek.
Passengers who did not seek treatment immediately after the collision can still submit their outpatient claims, said Mr Kek, adding that SMRT will look at an applicant's travel record to verify their claims.
Three patients remain warded for observation - two at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and one at National University Hospital.
In all, 24 patients received treatment and were discharged, one declined treatment and returned home and one is are still being treated.
SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming and CEO Desmond Kuek have visited the commuters in hospital, Mr Kek said.
PASSENGERS GOT OUT THROUGH THE CAPTAIN'S DOOR
When asked about why the first confirmation of the incident from SMRT came only three hours after the collision, Mr Kek explained that the transport operator's immediate key focus was on the safety and well-being of passengers.
He said that SMRT had to roll out its plan of sending "care teams" and activating management so that passengers who were injured could be attended to immediately.
He also explained that the 517 passengers on the second train had to disembark through the captain's door, as it was the only one that had access to the platform.
“When the second train hit the first train, you must understand that it is still not on the platform,” Mr Kek said.
“The first train was still at the platform. So to detrain the passengers, they had to come out through the train captain’s door. The rest of the doors had no access to the platforms.”
“NOT VERY SATISFACTORY"
"The situation is not satisfactory," said LTA when asked about how the collision would affect commuter confidence in the rail network. Wednesday's incident comes a month after a section of the North-South Line was flooded on October 7, disrupting services for 20 hours.
"As LTA we are concerned," said Mr Chua. “We are working very closely with SMRT."
“This incident is more than just train operations, there is also the technical bit and so we really need to make sure (it is clear) in terms of responsibilities. But in other areas - we have been supporting SMRT in terms of joint meetings to go through with them the technical issues.”
He added that authorities are also working with Thales, the supplier of the new signalling system on both the East-West and North-South lines.