(Check the latest updates from the SMRT news conference happening now at the end of this story)
Two SMRT maintenance staff are dead after an accident at a servicing point which disrupted train services in both directions between Pasir Ris and Tanah Merah stations, SMRT said on Tuesday (22 March).
The victims were identified as Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24. SMRT said both staff joined the company in January this year and were undergoing on-the-job training at the time of the accident.
Lee Ling Wee, the managing director of SMRT Trains, said in a post on Facebook the “two staff who passed away were part of a technical team that went down to the track to investigate a reported alarm linked to signalling equipment”.
“We have confirmed that permission was given to access the track. Our initial findings show that before the accident happened, the team was moving in a single file on the walkway beside the track, on the way to the location of the signalling equipment,” Lee said in the post.
Lee said the company was “giving full cooperation to the police and working closely with LTA in their investigations”.
As of 2.07pm, the Land Transport Authority said train services had resumed, but at a slower speed. SMRT said train services resumed at 2.12pm and free shuttle bus service had ceased.
An eye-witness at Pasir Ris station, Jeremy Ho, shared a video which showed a Singapore Civil Defence Force vehicle parked outside.
The SCDF confirmed that it was alerted at 11.11am and dispatched personnel. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, the SCDF said.
According to Ho, he had reached the top of the escalators when an announcement was made that train services were closed and all passengers had to leave the station.
He said he saw SCDF personnel running into Pasir Ris station and a police car arriving shortly after.
Member of Parliament Melvin Yong said on Facebook, “I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of two young lives this morning. On behalf of the National Transport Workers’ Union, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the two workers who were killed in the fatal train accident this morning along the East-West Line. Our union leaders are on the ground to render support to the affected families and workers during this difficult time.”
In a statement,the LTA said it was deeply saddened by the death of the two SMRT staff and would be assisting with investigation into the incident. It would also extend its assistance to the victims’ next-of-kin where necessary.