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Safety procedures not followed in fatal accident: SMRT

Updates by SMRT state that safety procedures were not followed in the accident on 22 March that resulted in the deaths of two SMRT staff members who were hit by an oncoming train.

If protocol had been correctly followed, all oncoming trains would have had to come to a stop at the site where works were to take place. In order for this to happen, the team would have had to communicate with the signal unit at Pasir Ris station before they reentered the trackway. SMRT acknowledged that their records do not show that this procedure had taken place.

While authorisation was granted for fifteen staff members from the permanent way team and the signal team to move down from the station platform, cross the track, and access the maintenance walkway, no communications were made with the signal unit before they stepped back onto the trackway.

The oncoming train, which was travelling towards Pasir Ris station, was on automatic mode and was going at a speed of 60 km per hour. Once the train captain saw staff on the tracks, emergency breaks were immediately applied, but were not sufficient to prevent the accident.

Both the workers who were hit, Nasrulhudin Najumudin and Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by paramedics. Both workers were undergoing on-the-job training at the time of accident.

SMRT said in a statement that investigations are being conducted and that they are working closely with the police and the Ministry of Manpower.

SMRT Chief Executive Officer Desmond Kuek also said in a press conference following the accident that SMRT was in the process of obtaining detailed accounts of the incident from witnesses.

SMRT have also stated that they will take full responsibility for the unfortunate incident.

The full statement and timeline of events by SMRT can be found here.