SMRT Corporation has explained that the smoke seen on a train along the East-West line on Friday afternoon (10 Jan) was caused by a leaking air-conditioning compressor.
Photos of a train cabin filled with thick smoke was circulating online throughout the day. Some commuters, who said that the smoke filled an east-bound train after 12pm, had expressed fears that the smoke could have been caused by a fire.
One commuter, Ee Chien, told Stomp: “I boarded a train on the green line at Tanjong Pagar MRT station at about 12.30pm and alighted at the next stop, Raffles Place station. I can’t tell if it was a fire but I didn’t want to linger around, plus I had to go for lunch. I just didn’t want to stick around in the smoke.”
Another commuter, Facebook user Benny Oka, recalled: “I got onto a train at Tanjong Pagar MRT at like 12.33pm. While on the way to Raffles Place station, I noticed smoke. Everyone seemed a bit uncomfortable and I could smell the smoke.
“All the passengers alighted at Raffles Place station and I heard an announcement saying that the train was going to stop here. I got off the train and switched to another one on the North-South line to continue my journey.”
SMRT Corporation has since explained that all commuters were asked to disembark from the affected train as it was withdrawn for investigation.
Chief Communications Officer Margaret Teo’s probe revealed that the smoke was caused by a leaking air-conditioning compressor that released Freon gas – a non-toxic gas that can be dangerous if it is inhaled over a prolonged period:
“On Friday (Jan 10) at around 12.45pm, white smoke was seen coming from a train at the east-bound platform of Raffles Place MRT station. As a safety precaution, all commuters on board the affected train were asked to disembark and board the next train.
“The affected train was withdrawn from service for further checks. We have confirmed that the smoke emission was due to a leaking air-conditioning compressor that released Freon gas. We apologise for affecting your journey.” /TISG