In a media conference concluding the flooded train tunnel incident, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) pushed all blame to SMRT and refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
“The Bishan MRT tunnel flooding incident was entirely preventable. The flooding, which disrupted train services for more than 20 hours, might not have happened had the SMRT team responsible for the maintenance of the Bishan storm water sump pit and pump system carried out their duties… SMRT has accepted full responsibility for the incident and disciplined the staff found responsible.”
The LTA said they were unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the incident but insisted that the pump system was in working condition. LTA then narrowed down the possibilities to three scenarios:
1) The float switch was stuck by accumulated sludge and debris due to failure of maintenance
2) The alarm switch was stuck by accumulated sludge and debris due to failure of maintenance
3) SMRT maintenance crew forgot to put the pump system back to automatic after a maintenance on 13 July 2017
Despite the three possible scenarios, maintenance records were still found to have been forged by the SMRT maintenance department. According to an earlier announcement by SMRT, 13 staff were fired but the company did not proceed with any criminal prosecution.
The flooded train tunnel episode was then closed by the authority, with SMRT CEOs Desmond Kuek and Lee Ling Wee, and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan walking free unharmed. There has been intense pressure from the public calling for the resignation of the three incompetent leaders following the worsening state of public transport.