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Dozens of commuters caught inside stalled train after fault causes delay on TEL

Dozens of commuters caught inside stalled train after fault causes delay on TEL
FILE PHOTO: Platform signs at Woodlands South MRT station. (Photo: Aqil Haziq Mahmud)

SINGAPORE: About 50 commuters were stuck on a train along the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) for more than 90 minutes on Wednesday (Apr 27).

A train fault between Woodlands and Woodlands South stations at about 6.30am caused the delay, said operator SMRT.

“Our engineers were immediately activated and (worked) to rectify the fault. Around 50 commuters in the stalled train between the stations were safely disembarked at Woodlands station at about 8.10am,” it said in a Facebook post.

Train services remained available. There were also in-train and station announcements to inform commuters that there would be an additional travel time of up to 25 minutes.

SMRT said free regular bus and bridging bus services were provided between Woodlands North and Caldecott stations. Additional staff members were also deployed to assist commuters at all affected stations.

However, some commuters replied to SMRT’s social media posts, saying there had been no bridging bus services at their location.

One Facebook user, Audrey Lee, said people had been waiting for an hour “with no bus in sight”.

Another user, Ling Woo, said they were told to take a bridging bus at Lentor MRT station, but it never came.

“People kept waiting until the train service resumed and went back to take the train instead!” she wrote.

Commuters waiting for alternative transport after a train delay along the Thomson-East Coast Line on Apr 27, 2022. (Photo: Twitter/Sean Bay)

Replying to SMRT’s Twitter post, Marcus Ng said people had been waiting for 40 minutes at Lentor station but did not see any buses to Woodlands North. “Many students are stuck here,” he wrote. “Please help.”

In another post, user Nur Hafizah Ismail replied to say there were no bridging buses towards Caldecott station.

SMRT later said normal train service resumed at about 9.10am

In an update on Facebook at 6.45pm, SMRT apologised for the incident, detailing the circumstances of the disruption.

When the fault occurred, SMRT said a rescue train was deployed to move the stalled train to the nearest MRT station to allow the commuters to disembark.

"The rescue train subsequently also experienced a fault during electric coupling and stalled," said SMRT.

"Two other rescue trains were then deployed, adopting a different recovery process and eventually recovered the initial stalled train."

SMRT said that its staff was in "constant contact" with the affected commuters to assure them and check on their well-being, adding that there was full lighting and ventilation in the stalled train while the commuters were onboard. 

"We are sorry for affecting your morning commute," it said.
 

Source: CNA/ga(ac)

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