Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from Facebook

Singapore’s transport operator SMRT today faulted the lightning for causing a train fault between Yishun and Yio Chu Kang stations along the North-South Line (NSL) at around 4pm today (May 11).

A SMRT spokesperson told the press that they are not able to ascertain the real causse of the breakdown and blamed it on a lightning strike:

“At 3.46pm today, it was suspected that lightning struck a location between Yio Chu Kang and Khatib Station along the North-South Line. This may have caused a train fault, affecting commuters travelling towards Yio Chu Kang Station.”

SMRT took about 1 hour to clear the fault but services were slow and intermittently stopping despite being announced as “cleared” in bold at 4.40pm. This is the third breakdown incident in the first two weeks of May. Train breakdowns are now as frequent as weekly as the Singapore government and private transport operators have been under-investing in railway infrastructure for decades. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has been avoiding commentaries on train breakdown and is attempting to manage expectations by making comparisons with Europe’s public transport.