At the press conference over the tragic death of two SMRT maintenance technicians, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek said that the 0.5m width walkway at the track is safe and that the train was travelling on auto mode, which is at 60km/h.
“Normally when that happens there’s track access, they request for track authorisation from the Operations Control Centre. When given, they will then proceed to the track. In this instance, that was given. The power was supposed to be switched off when they reached the location but unfortunately the accident happened before they actually reached the site where they were supposed to do the investigation.
It was “standard” procedure and routine for people to be on the track to investigate a fault when trains are running, but with permission sought. There are rules in place that need to be observed when staff members head down to the tracks. This applies to all staff members, including trainees and permanent staff, he said, adding that they are all trained on safety issues before they walk onto the track.”
When queried about compensation, Desmond Kuek said that “it is part of our typical HR process”.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has been largely silent with only two sentences of comment over the incident: “Authorities are gathering details and would look into how safety procedures could be further strengthened. Meanwhile, our hearts are with the families and will do our best to support and assist them.”
No apologies has been made thus far by the Transport Ministry or SMRT. No fault has been acknowledged by SMRT either.