SINGAPORE: Smoke was seen rising from an escalator at Ang Mo Kio MRT station leading to the underground linkway to AMK Hub on Monday afternoon (Feb 5).
All three escalators to the linkway were shut down and the linkway closed "for commuter safety", said SMRT vice president for corporate communications Margaret Teo in statements to the media. She added that train services on the North-South Line were not affected.
"Initial investigations show that the smoke could have come from overheated motor bearings in the faulty escalator which were replaced earlier today," Ms Teo said in an update at about 7.50pm. "Further checks will be carried out before the escalator is put back in service."
The linkway reopened at 6.10pm but the escalators are still not in service.
The other two escalators next to the faulty one have been turned off pending safety checks but commuters can use the escalator steps to access the linkway, Ms Teo said.
"Station staff will be on hand to guide commuters. The elderly and commuters with special needs are advised to use the lift," she added.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said one person was taken to Singapore General Hospital at about 3pm for smoke inhalation. The person, who is under observation in hospital, is an SMRT employee, Ms Teo confirmed.
Eyewitness Pan Zhengxiang told Channel NewsAsia that he saw smoke rising suddenly from the escalator some time between 1.30pm and 2pm.
"Many were still using the escalator initially," he said. "The public later helped raise awareness of the situation ... so (people can) avoid the escalator."
According to Facebook user Jas Chua, there was a "pungent smell" and it was difficult to breathe.
Fire engines from SCDF were seen parked outside the MRT station.
A cordon was set up around the affected escalator and SMRT technicians were seen on-site.
Channel NewsAsia understands that SMRT had been aiming to reopen the underground linkway leading to Ang Mo Kio Hub before the evening peak hour.
(Additional reporting by Dewi Fabbri)
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