SMRT's on-the-job-trainees killed due to failure of safety protocols


SMRT’s managing director, Lee Ling Wee, has confirmed that the two Singaporean on-the-job-trainees were hit by the train despite following the train operator’s safety protocols. The incident happened about 150 metres away from Pasir Ris MRT station. SMRT further confirmed that the maintenance investigation was a “supervised activity” and that a supervisor had been walking in front of the two men killed.

“Normally when that happens there’s track access, they request for track authorisation from the operations control central. When given, they will then proceed to the track. In this instance, that was given. The power was supposed to be switched off when they reached the location but unfortunately the accident happened before they actually reached the site where they were supposed to do the investigation,” Mr Lee said.

Both killed joined SMRT in January 2016 were part of a technical team of 15 that went down to the track to investigate a reported alarm from a condition monitoring device for signalling equipment. Track access was authorised and the men had been on the walkway alongside the track.

The investigations will focus on how the staff were hit despite following safety protocols, Mr Lee said.

SMRT also released an image of where a fatal accident happened near Pasir Ris MRT station. The walkway the workers had been walking on is 0.5 metres wide, it said.
SMRT’s CEO Desmond Kuek confirmed that permission had to be sought for maintenance staff to be on the track to investigate a fault when trains are running, but that such track investigations were standard procedure and routine.

#FBLIVE: SMRT Press conference on Pasir Ris train incident, which killed two staff members. video was broadcast live on Facebook earlier)

Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, 22 March 2016