Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) has stated that the smoke rising from an escalator at Ang Mo Kio station on Monday (5 February) was due to overheated motor bearings.
An escalator, which leads toward the underground linkway to Ang Mo Kio Hub, was cordoned off after the smoke was seen emitting from it.
According to Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), one SMRT maintenance staff member was taken to Singapore General Hospital at about 3 pm for smoke inhalation and was warded for observation.
SMRT vice-president of corporate communications Margaret Teo delivered a media statement on Monday evening, saying, “At around 1.20pm today, our staff detected smoke from an escalator leading towards the underground linkway to AMK Hub. For the safety of our commuters, all three escalators were turned off and the linkway was closed immediately. As a precaution, Singapore Civil Defence Force officers were activated.”
“One of our maintenance staff is in hospital under observation after he was admitted for smoke inhalation,” she added.
Ms Teo then noted that initial investigations show that the smoke could have come from overheated motor bearings in the faulty escalator which was replaced earlier, adding that further checks will be carried out before the escalator is put back in service.”
According to the transport operator, the other two escalators next to the faulty escalator have been turned off pending safety checks. However, commuters can still use the escalator steps to access the linkway.
“Station staff will be on hand to guide commuters. The elderly and commuters with special needs are advised to use the lift. The linkway was reopened at 6.10pm,” Ms Teo said.
A picture posted by Ms Jas Chua Suat Ping showed the station shuddered with smoke.
“AMK MRT escalator towards tunnel of AMK Hub full of smoke. Lift also broke down. Please cross between AMK MRT to AMK Hub by using traffic light on main road,” she wrote.
She then warned commuters with asthma to take precautions as there was pungent smell and it was difficult to breathe.