SMRT to be fined $1.9M for fatal accident, tunnel flood

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Rail operator SMRT will be fined a total of $1.9 million for the 2016 accident that killed two SMRT trainees and the 2017 flooding incident in the tunnels between Bishan and Braddell MRT Stations.

In a statement on Friday (20 July), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that it will impose a $400,000 fine on SMRT for procedural lapses related to the fatal accident on 22 March 2016

SMRT was penalised under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) for failing to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of employees at work.

During the accident, the trainees were hit by an east-bound train when they were on the railway tracks near Pasir Ris MRT station while they were investigating a possible signalling fault between Tampines and Pasir Ris MRT stations along with other colleagues.

The accident also resulted in a disruption to train services on both directions of the East-West Line (EWL) between Pasir Ris and Tanah Merah stations, affecting about 16,500 commuters.

“LTA’s separate investigations found that the SMRT work team had failed to comply with operating procedures for access to the tracks during train service hours. These lapses were further compounded by inadequate supervision of MRT operations at the time of the accident,” said an LTA spokesman.

In the second incident from 7 October to 8 October 2017, the tunnel flooding caused disruption to regular train services lasting 14.5 hours between Ang Mo Kio and Newton MRT Stations, affecting about 231,000 commuters.

An LTA spokesman noted, “LTA’s investigations found SMRT fully responsible for the incident, as the incident was entirely preventable if the Bishan storm water sump pit and its pumping system had been properly maintained.”

SMRT will be fined $1.5 million for this incident under Section 19 of the Rapid Transit Systems (RTS) Act, added the spokesman.

“SMRT has apologised for the incident and has been open and transparent in reporting the falsification of records, which contributed to the incident,” said the spokesman, who noted that SMRT has also carried out recovery works and implemented preventive measures.

The fines collected will go to the Public Transport Fund to help needy families with transport fares.

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