KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — The underground collision between two LRT trains at KLCC last night was caused by human error, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong affirmed today.
He said the manned carriage that was undergoing a test-drive went the wrong way, which resulted in the head-on collision with the autonomous passenger-laden carriage.
He added that the test-drive but empty carriage, identified as TR40, was supposed to travel South-bound towards the Dang Wangi station, but had instead gone in the opposite direction and towards the passenger laden coach TR81 that was static at the KLCC station.
The Ayer Hitam MP explained that these were the findings of preliminary investigations provided to him by the Land Public Transport Agency this morning.
“Preliminary investigations found that the accident was caused by the negligence and carelessness of the train driver, or hostler, who was driving TR40 in the wrong direction.
“TR40 which was supposed to move South bound, and head towards the Dang Wangi station, had instead moved North bound, or in a different orientation which caused the collision to happen between TR40 and TR81,” he said during a virtual press conference this afternoon.
Wee explained that TR40 was faulty and could not be navigated through its’ onboard vehicle controller, forcing Prasarana to engage a hostler to drive the malfunctioning coach towards their repair depo.
Explaining the chronology of the incident, Wee said TR81 which was static at the KLCC station was then given clearance to depart at 8.24pm towards Kampung Baru after receiving information that TR40 was headed towards Dang Wangi, one station ahead.
“Then at 8.33pm, the hostler of TR40 contacted the control centre to inform them that TR40 had collided with another train, and one minute later at 8.34pm, TR81 was identified as the train that had collided with TR40 which at that time was ferrying 213 passengers,” Wee said.
By 9.23pm, Wee said all passengers were safely extracted and either given immediate medical assistance or rushed to Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL).
The minister also revealed that 64 victims are still receiving treatment at HKL, with six of them in critical stage, and 15 more in semi-critical condition. Forty-three victims were given outpatient treatment, he added.
He also said a special nine-member investigation committee has been formed by the Transport Ministry to probe into the incident.
It is led by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak with deputy secretary-general Normah Osman as second in command.