MRT tunnel flooding: 6 SMRT staff to face disciplinary action

Nicholas Yong
Senior Correspondent
(PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore / Gabriel Choo)

Six members of SMRT’s maintenance staff will face disciplinary action for their part in last month’s Bishan MRT tunnel flooding incident that affected some 250,000 people, said the rail operator on Monday (6 November) following the completion of its internal investigation.

The six individuals from the Building & Facilities Maintenance group comprise a manager, an engineering supervisor and four other crew members, the SMRT release said.

“A further inquiry is being conducted against seven other managerial staff from this Maintenance group, including two Vice-President level executives, all of whom have been suspended, with respect to their discharge of supervisory responsibility,” it added.

In an earlier statement, SMRT said that preliminary investigations showed quarterly maintenance works for the anti-flood system at Bishan MRT had not been properly conducted for almost a year even though maintenance records showed that such works had been done.

Last week, the rail operator asked its staff to own up and admit to breaches in work procedures by 3 November, with an assurance that they would not be penalised for doing so.

The spokesman said that a number of submissions relating to scheduled maintenance works not being carried out have been received from the Building & Facilities Maintenance group, which is also responsible for the Bishan anti-flood system. The returns are being studied.

The heads of all SMRT’s other trains maintenance units – such as rolling stock, signalling and communications, permanent way and power maintenance – have conducted a further assessment and been given the all clear.

“As part of our value system of shared responsibility and accountability, the company will also take this incident into account when reviewing the remuneration of its senior management, from the CEO through the relevant chain of command,” said the SMRT spokesman.

Meanwhile, the Land Transport Authority’s separate technical investigations into the Bishan tunnel flooding incident are ongoing with the SMRT’s participation.

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