18,000 affected in 9-hour NEL breakdown

The North-East Line of Singapore's train system has not been spared from delays. (Getty Images/File photo)

In what was the longest North-East Line (NEL) breakdown since March 2012, MRT train services between Punggol and Sengkang stations were disrupted for nine hours yesterday.

Local paper Today reported that the stoppage took place between 6am and 3pm, and affected some 18,000 commuters.

NEL operator SBS Transit reportedly said the disruption was caused by a power fault caused by a dislocation of cantilever arms. As a result, power supply to the trains was cut off. SBS Transit added that this is the first time the arms have dislodged.

Almost 40 shuttle buses were in operation during the disruption, while commuters were able to board public bus services for free at designated bus stops near the affected stations.