Train disruptions due to lapses by staff: SMRT
Investigations into three MRT service disruptions that occurred earlier this month showed that two were caused by human error, SMRT said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the transport operator said that the first disruption on 11 January, which caused a train to stall between Yew Tee and Kranji MRT stations, was due to a damaged cable that had worn out.
The cable has since been repaired, and a system-wide inspection has been conducted to ensure there are no similar damages. A condition monitoring system is also being put in place, to improve the maintenance routines, SMRT said.
The second disruption on 20 January involving a stalled train between Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio stations was due to the drained battery on the train.
SMRT found that a technician had failed to close two circuit breakers after routine nightly servicing on the train, causing the battery to drain and automatically triggering a safety mechanism that prevented the train from moving.
It took nearly an hour before normal service could resume, longer than anticipated, due to the peak hour congestion, SMRT said.
The company added that pre-launch train checks will now be more highly supervised, and that disciplinary action had been taken against the technician who had been negligent.
The third disruption on 22 January between the Expo and Tanah Merah stations was due to an oversight of a train captain who failed to observe a signal light on the track. The train service had to be suspended for safety reasons, to allow engineers to verify the safety of the network.
Investigations have confirmed that the existing procedures are sound, and the train captain has since been disciplined, SMRT said.
Alina Boey, SMRT’s media and marketing communications director, said that while SMRT is committed to delivering safe and reliable train services, “even with the best efforts and systems, there will be the occasional delay and unexpected disruption”.
She added, “In such an eventuality, we appreciate the patience and understanding of our commuters and apologise for any inconvenience caused while we work to recover the system as quickly as possible.”