Photo of Sembawang MRT station from street directory

A rail worker was shocked by 750-volt electricity during maintenance yesterday (May 26) around 1.50am near Sembawang station. Calling the worker a “contractor”, Singapore’s public transport operator blamed the victim for accessing the “sector without seeking approval”. The unnamed worker in his 20s sustained burn injuries to his left hand but survived the incident.

“Three SMRT staff, along with two contractors, were on the track by the platform of Sembawang MRT station to conduct maintenance work during engineering hours.

“One of the contractors was using a third-rail gauging bar to measure the height and distance of the third rail from the running rail, to ensure the correct positioning of the third rail, which supplies power to the trains. While carrying this out, the contractor sustained a burn injury to his left hand.

The necessary approval was given to the team to access the track for the maintenance work. Our findings show that the contractor proceeded to an adjacent sector instead, for which prior approval had not been sought and where the traction power had not been switched off.”

This is the second serious lapse caused by SMRT after two maintenance workers were killed in March. There is no mention of an investigation or compensation into the case.