Singapore – Concertina coil wires were installed near the spot where a man was killed last Thursday (Feb 25) after climbing onto the MRT tracks.
About 150 metres from Kallang MRT station, barbed wires were installed to deter other trespassers from entering the area. This is in addition to existing fences and barbed wires in place along the MRT tracks.
According to a straitstimes.com report, the added concertina wires increase security in the area, which is especially vulnerable to intruders. It is a section of the overground track with elevated fields, a footpath near the track and climbable sections on the viaduct.
On Feb 25, a 31-year-old man was hit by a train near Kallang MRT station. It is unknown how the man had accessed the tracks or if he was spotted on any of the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) monitoring the area.
The report noted that the man found his way into the eastbound tunnel located between Kallang and Lavender MRT stations by passing through the tunnel using a portal area where the train tracks enter the underground passageway from above.
The man’s body was found a short walk away from where the concertina wires have been set up.
The incident disrupted the East-West Line between Bugis and Aljunied MRT stations. Both Lavender and Kallang MRT stations had to be closed for the day after the alert was sounded at 9.35 pm.
According to the executive director of the Security Association Singapore, Mr Ikhsan Suri, there had been very few platform-related fatal incidents following the installation of platform screen doors on MRT lines.
“Perhaps what can be done further is to continue to review and update the security and safety risks all along the train system and infrastructure,” said Mr Ikhsan.
“Technology such as smart sensors or video analytics deployed alongside an expanded CCTV network could be leveraged to reduce the chances of such tragic accidents from happening in the first place, and also shorten the response time for emergency services in such incidents.”
Between 2009 and 2012, the North-South and East-West Lines were retrofitted with half-height platform screen doors while LRT stations had similar screen doors installed since 2015.
It would be a “herculean task to keep out the most determined intruders”, said Mr Ikhsan, noting security provisions have to be balanced with cost.
“Nonetheless, every accident must be treated as avoidable,” he said.
In 2016, two SMRT trainees were knocked down by a train, and a year later, an intoxicated man entered the tracks near Fajar Station on the Bukit Panjang LRT, leading to another fatal incident.
The police noted they do not suspect foul play in the latest incident. Investigations are ongoing./TISG
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