'Sorry' for troubles caused by MRT breakdown: Ong Ye Kung

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
(From left to right): Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung delivers his ministerial statement on 6 October, 2020, in Parliament. Commuters made to walk on train tracks on 14 October, 2020, as a power fault disrupts train services on three major lines. (PHOTOS: Parliament screengrab, Grace Guo)
(From left to right): Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung delivers his ministerial statement on 6 October, 2020, in Parliament. Commuters made to walk on train tracks on 14 October, 2020, as a power fault disrupts train services on three major lines. (PHOTOS: Parliament screengrab, Grace Guo)

SINGAPORE — Recently-appointed Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung took to Facebook on Wednesday (14 October) night, shortly after disrupted train services on three major MRT lines were restored, to apologise for the incident.

“Has been a rough and stressful evening for many commuters. We are sorry for the disruption and all the troubles caused,” said Ong, who took over the transport portfolio from predecessor Khaw Boon Wan in July.

He added that around 115 bridging buses and 400 SMRT staff were quickly deployed to affected MRT stations and bus stops to guide commuters when the disruption happened.

“But it was a power trip and the lights were out. So the staff used torchlights to shuffle along slowly in the dark. A friend texted to say two passengers were feeling unwell in the train. I got the message through to LTA and SMRT to attend to them quickly,” said Ong.

“Safety of the commuters remained topmost on our minds tonight.”

The breakdown, the first major train disruption since his appointment, has been preliminarily attributed by the Land Transport Authority to a faulty power cable.

The power fault disrupted parts of the train service on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) for over three hours on Wednesday, severely affecting commuters heading home during the evening rush hour.

It also caused an-hour long disruption for service on the Circle Line. Train service on the Circle Line resumed ‪at 8.40pm‬, while services on the NSEWL resumed at 10.35pm at all stations.

“The engineering team will work through the night to rectify the problem,” Ong said.

“There will be students taking national exams tomorrow and we are on standby to help each and every child get to their centres safely and on time.”

Ong was formerly Minister for Education.

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