In a joint statement by Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (15 November) afternoon, it was stated that 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.
Mr Alvin Kek, Senior Vice President of Rail Operations (NSEWL) at SMRT Trains, said that the train captain was one of the passengers that got injured. While, the other staff that got injured is the assistant station manager who were in the train getting ready to help commuters and de-train the passengers.
Mr Chua Chong Kheng, Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Development of LTA, stated that most of the passengers injured in the incident related to bruises and foot bruises as they knocked and fell, which occurred after a software protection feature was inadvertently disabled.
He then added that one of the passengers had face injury and broken tooth. While, another one fainted because of low blood sugar level.
Asking whether SMRT stepped in to assist passengers, Mr Kek stated that SMRT has care team deployed on the scene right from the beginning to assist passengers who sustained injuries.
He stated that its Senior Management, including Chairman Seah Moon Ming and CEO Desmond Kuek have visited the commuters in the hospital and that it is still keeping in touch, providing care that is needed to passengers, including on medical expenses.
Mr Kek also said that passengers who did not seek treatment immediately after the collision can still submit their outpatient claims at any station, adding that SMRT will look at an applicant’s travel record to verify their claims.
23 passengers and two SMRT staff sustained “light to moderate injuries”. They were taken from the scene of the incident to Ng Teng Fong Hospital and National University Hospital (NUH) in the morning.
Three other walk-in patients went to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital later in the afternoon.
According to the media reports, the three patients remain warded for observation, two at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and one at National University Hospital.
In all, 22 patients received treatment and were discharged, one declined treatment and returned home, two are still being treated.
The first information was released three hours after the incident occurred. Commenting on this, Mr Kek said that the transport operator’s immediate key focus was on the safety and well-being of passengers.
He told media 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 then said that all 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, saying, “When the second train hit the first train, you must understand that it is still not on the platform.”
He 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.”
LTA said that the situation is not satisfactory when asked about how the collision would affect commuter confidence in the rail network.
“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 stated.
He also said that the authorities are also working with Thales, the supplier of the new signalling system on both the East-West and North-South lines.