SMRT, 2 employees charged for March 22 accident in Singapore

SCDF officers extricate a body from the scene of a train accident on March 22, 2016. — TODAY file photo
SCDF officers extricate a body from the scene of a train accident on March 22, 2016. — TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE, Dec 1 — Rail operator SMRT and two of its employees were charged today over a fatal accident in March on the train tracks near Pasir Ris MRT station, which resulted in the deaths of two trainees.

SMRT Trains and its director of control operations, Teo Wee Kiat, have been accused of failing to take necessary measures to ensure the workers' safety.

Lim Say Heng, who was in charge of the work team of that went onto the tracks that fateful day, was charged with causing death by a negligent act.

In a statement on Thursday, the Attorney-General's Chambers said investigations were ongoing to determine if other individuals are liable for workplace safety lapses in connection with the incident.

On March 22, Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26 and Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24, were part of a 15-man team who were on the track to investigate a reported alarm from a condition monitoring device for signalling equipment. They were killed by a train pulling into Pasir Ris station.

After an internal probe, SMRT said in April that failure to follow safety measures had led to the accident. Among the lapses were not deploying watchmen to look out for and warn of approaching trains, and not setting a speed limit on the affected track sector to prevent trains on automated mode from entering.

In September, SMRT sacked two staff members over the incident.

All cases have been adjourned to Dec 30 for a pre-trial conference.

In a separate statement, the National Transport Workers’ Union executive secretary Melvin Yong said the union would work closely with its member Lim Say Heng "to provide him and his family support, and to ensure that he is fairly represented". 

He added that the union would continue to gather feedback from workers and cooperate with the revelant agencies, stakeholders in the industry to provide a safe working environment for workers. — TODAY

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