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International safety standards? 'No such thing', says witness

AMK station therefore couldn't have met global standards, says witness

Published on Oct 31, 2012 6:00 AM
Prof Krishnamurthy, a trained civil engineer, took the stand yesterday in the lawsuit against SMRT and LTA. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

The station where a Thai teenager lost both her legs beneath a train could not possibly have met international safety standards, an expert witness testified on Tuesday.

This is because there are no set standards to meet, Professor Natarajan Krishnamurthy told the court. Instead, they differ from country to country. The trained civil engineer took the stand as a witness for 16-year-old Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, who is suing rail operator SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

She is seeking $3.4 million in damages, claiming that jostling crowds caused her to lose her balance before she was hit by an oncoming train at Ang Mo Kio MRT station last year. Both SMRT and the LTA claim that safety features at the station were sufficient and met international standards in terms of the distance between the yellow line and the edge of the platform.

But on Tuesday, Prof Krishnamurthy attempted to show that this could not be true because these distances are not the same for different countries. He did this by presenting photographs of 60 randomly chosen metro stations "around the world". In more than 20 of them, he said, the yellow line was farther away from the edge of the platform than the 60cm that SMRT and the LTA described as the international standard.

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