SINGAPORE: The collision involving two MRT trains at Joo Koon station was the second such incident in MRT’s 30-year history.
On Wednesday morning (Nov 15), 25 people, including two SMRT staff, were injured after a train collided with a stationary train.
The first incident took place on Aug 5, 1993 – six years after the MRT system began operations in 1987. It involved a front-to-back collision between two trains at Clementi station, and resulted in 156 injured commuters. Some of them were flung against panels and steel railings inside the train or piled on top of one another.
The collison was due to an east-bound train from Jurong stopping at Clementi MRT station for two minutes longer than scheduled due to a technical fault.
Operations at the three affected stations, Clementi, Buona Vista and Commonwealth, resumed within a day after intensive checks were carried out by engineers from SMRT – then known as Mass Rapid Transit Corp (MRTC).
An independent inquiry panel was formed to probe the incident. On Oct 19, the inquiry panel said that the accident was caused by a 50L oil spill from a maintenance locomotive, which had been carrying out maintenance work at about 5am on the day of the accident.
The inquiry panel also said the accident could have been prevented had the staff understood the gravity of the situation and dealt with the oil spill “sufficiently aggressively or promptly”.
Following the findings, MRTC revised its operating procedures to require station masters to inspect the platform tracks for oil and implement safety measures in the event of an oil spill.
In addition, the train operator announced plans to purchase new locomotives to replace the existing ones for track maintenance as the new locomotives are not prone to the same type of hydraulic leakage.
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