KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — 47 Light Rail Transit (LRT) commuters on the Kelana Jaya line suffered serious injuries on Monday night (24 May) after two trains collided between the KLCC and Kampung Baru stations here.
Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said at a press conference at Avenue K — the shopping centre where the KLCC underground station is located — that one of the trains was carrying passengers, while the other was empty and being manually test run.
Under regular service, trains on the Kelana Jaya line are fully automated.
At the time of the collision — around 8.30 pm — 232 passengers were on board one of the trains. 166 sustained minor injuries.
Wee said that those who were seriously wounded have been sent to the nearest hospital for treatment. It is understood that the seriously injured passengers were sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL).
Ambulance and medical personnel were also present at the scene to treat those with minor injuries, he added.
A task force will be convened to look into the incident, said Wee. A full report on the investigation will be presented in around two weeks.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a statement said that he has instructed the Ministry of Transport and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad — the transport firm responsible for handling the LRT — to “carry out a full probe to identify the cause of this accident”.
He added that “stern action needs to be taken immediately”.
Prior to that, users across social media were rendered shocked by graphic images and videos of bloodied commuters on the floor or leaning on the walls of the train.
The images also depicted the extent of the damage to the occupied train, with fragments of broken glass seen spread across the floor of the coaches.
Twitter user @sbteh60 said that the crash would have never happened “if due diligence and maintenance is done regularly”.
“This jerking of trains has happened b4 many time during MCO and today is the worse of all and cost so many injured seriously,” the user added.
This jerking of trains has happened b4 many time during MCO and today is the worse of all and cost so many injured seriously and rapid KL called it a incident it’s a accident and collision and should never happened if due diligence and maintenance is done regularly
— Larry Teh (@sbteh60) May 24, 2021
User @AimanIAbdullah tweeted that investigations into the crash should examine “[w]hich systems failed to detect the collision before it happened, and why”.
“We must demand that these loopholes and failures be rectified soonest,” he added.
Such systems normally have multiple failsafes. Which systems failed to detect the collision before it happened, and why. We must demand that these loopholes and failures be rectified soonest to ensure the continued safety of RapidKL’s passengers.
— Aiman I. Abdullah (@AimanIAbdullah) May 24, 2021
Several users called for the resignation of Prasarana’s chief executive officer and other top management staff, in addition to demanding compensation for and a public apology to those affected by the train collision.
Top managment must be held accountable. Resign and apologise.
— Marcus Ng (@marcusncy) May 24, 2021
Saman ! Incompetence! The CEO should step down , pay the compensation money for the victims!
— Yeop Amirul 🇲🇾 (@YeopAmirul1648) May 24, 2021
CEO prasarana sila letak jawatan & compensate semua org dalam train ni. Pergi minta maaf dekat setiap seorang penumpang.
— Hydesign (@hydesign_my) May 24, 2021
LRT and bus operator RapidKL in a tweet said that alternative transport arrangements will be made in view of the accident.
“We are working as quickly as possibly to extend aid and rectify the situation,” it said.
(Cont) Our priority is to get all our passengers to safefy. Alternative transport arrangements will be provided.
We are working as quickly as possibly to extend aid and rectify the situation. Please stay calm and follow instructions.
— AskRapidKL (@AskRapidKL) May 24, 2021
The Kelana Jaya line is the first fully automated metro line in Malaysia at the time of its opening in 1998.
Spanning 37 stations, it is the busiest metro line in the country. Close to 300,000 passengers commute via the Kelana Jaya line on an average work day prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.