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SMRT caves after online backlash, promises to update safety measures after gruesome commuter death




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Following outrage online after SMRT’s senior VP’s testimony that SMRT has “no plans” to update safety measures at the coroner’s inquiry into the gruesome death of Malaysian Ang Boon Tong, SMRT has released a statement that it will revise its safety protocol and better publicise safety measures.

Ang had died after 2 driverless LRTs ran over him after he drunkenly stumbled and fell onto the tracks at Fajar LRT Station train platform on 24 March this year.

Public backlash grew after SMRT senior Vice President Chia Chun Wah said yesterday that the single train service controller in the operation control room did not spot Ang’s fall, since she was occupied by a whopping 46 CCTV feeds on 22 monitors in front of her, and that the organisation does not plan to update existing measures to prevent such accidents in future.

Netizens reported being “shocked” at Chia’s comments and SMRT’s attitude to the tragedy:

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SMRT was quick to respond after pressure mounted. Vice President for Corporate Communications Patrick Nathan released the following statement in response:

“We are saddened by the death of Mr Ang Boon Tong on the Bukit Panjang LRT in March this year. The safety of all our commuters is a key priority for us. Safety measures to prevent track intrusions at BPLRT include fixed barriers at station platforms, safety reminders displayed on posters, regular broadcast messages at the platforms to remind passengers to stand behind the yellow line while waiting for the train, as well as a line of tactile warning studs installed before the yellow safety line along the entire length of the platform to warn visually handicapped passengers that they are approaching the platform edge. Commuters can also activate the emergency train stop buttons at the platforms when there is an emergency. We continue to drive home the safety first message on the BPLRT and transport services we operate.
“We will also put up additional signage at BPLRT station platforms to remind commuters to stay behind the yellow line for their safety. We will also work to improve commuters’ awareness of proper use of the emergency train stop button.
“Following yesterday’s CI, we are reaching out to the family to offer assistance.”

Meanwhile, commuters continue to be extremely upset with the transit service operator after massive breakdowns along the North-South Line occurred over morning peak hours today.

Upset commuters have criticised SMRT for the new signalling system which caused the delays due to faults and have also castigated the organisation for failing to provide accurate and timely information during the breakdowns.

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