Photo of Bukit Panjang LRT from Facebook

According to a verdict revealed by the coroner, a drunken man who fell onto the train tracks may have been mistakenly killed by a SMRT station controller’s wrong judgement. On the midnight of March 24, a drunk man fell off the platform at Fajar LRT station and landed on the LRT train tracks. The 43-year-old drunkard, Ang Boon Tong, was reported caught on station cameras staggering at the platform before he fell.

A train then arrived at the station at 12.48am and stopped moving as the safety mechanism detected a foreign object on the train track. An alarm was triggered but SMRT station controller, Mohd Ariff Mohd Yusoff, thought that the train stopped moving because of similar mechanical faults that happened before. At this point, it is unknown if Ang Boon Tong was still alive under the train. The SMRT station controller did not bother to check the tracks and proceeded to over-ride the alarm and the train left the station.

A second train arrived ten minutes later at 12.58am and the SMRT station controller noticed that the train was moving in a “bumpy and erratic” manner. It is only this time he went up to check the tracks and found the dead body.

The state coroner criticised SMRT for not having any safety mechanism to detect track intrusions but the SMRT representative flagged a weak defence saying that the LRT is “testing such a system in one station”.

There is no compensation by SMRT. The deceased left behind three school-going children, aged 17, 14 and 9, and a widow who works at a food court.