Update: An employee was driving an empty train in the wrong direction prior to collision, preliminary investigations show.
Kuala Lumpur rail operator Prasarana said today that it will pay RM1,000 (US$250) in compensation to each of the 213 passengers injured in last night’s train collision.
Prasarana chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, 73, said that the payment will be in addition to covering victims’ medical expenses. Authorities said that the collision between an empty train that was undergoing inspection and another that was carrying passengers, happened following a fault that prevented the employee from conducting the test drive properly.
Preliminary investigations also showed that the employee was driving the train manually in the wrong direction, resulting in the crash.
“We are giving them RM1,000 (US$250) each as a gesture of our support and sympathy,” said Tajuddin, who is also the MP of Pasir Salak, in front of the KLCC train station today. He also apologized for the “unexpected” incident.
Tajudin’s comments come as the Ministry of Transport forms a special task force to look into the crash that took place between KLCC and Kampung Baru, which are two of the city’s busiest train stations. The task force, which includes representatives from Prasarana, the Transport Ministry, was expected to present their findings within two weeks.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that the accident was the result of carelessness of the hostler who drove TR40 in the wrong direction,” Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong told the press today, noting that the empty train was supposed to be traveling towards Gombak station but was going in the opposite direction.
Sixty-four of the train commuters injured in the crash were rushed to the nearby Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Twenty-one of them were still in hospital today, of which six were in the intensive care unit. Three people required ventilator support. Others were sent home after being treated for minor wounds.
“We will cover their medical expenses from the day they are admitted until they are discharged,” Tajudin said during today’s press briefing.
Photos and videos circulating on social media since last night showed injured passengers lying on the ground as pieces of shattered glass were strewn on the floor. Rescue personnel were photographed assisting those seriously injured.
LRT Kelana Jaya resumed its services at 6am today using one instead of two train tracks. Five shuttle buses were used to support transport operations.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with findings from the Transport Ministry’s preliminary investigations
Other stories to check out:
This article, Kuala Lumpur rail operator to pay RM1,000 in compensation to each crash victim, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.