Leaking pipe causes stink at Bedok MRT station

Commuters got a nasty surprise yesterday after foul smelling water started cascading from a hole in the ceiling of Bedok MRT station underpass.

People were forced to walk in slippery conditions, and some could be seen pinching their noses and covering their faces with handkerchiefs.

The problem, caused by a leaking pipe, was reported at 2pm.

The situation worsened with the peak-hour squeeze. SMRT staff could be seen standing around giving instructions and directing commuters.

Half of the underpass was cordoned off, leaving only a narrow path. Workers were seen carrying pails of murky water out of the station.

One of the workers The Straits Times spoke to at 6.30pm said he had been doing that for three hours.

Soon afterwards, a pump was brought in to collect the water and redirect it elsewhere. The problem was fixed at about 8pm.

Technician Muhammad Azhar, 24, said he was heading home from work when he came across the leak. "It was wet all around, and it smelt like a toilet," he added.

Accountant Mark De La Cruz, 24, said: "It was so squeezy, the floor was wet, and the smell was not pleasant. Certainly not a good way to end my day."

Mr Michael Lim, 45, who is self-employed, told The Straits Times: "Some people got splashed by the water. It was horrific."

SMRT vice-president for corporate marketing and communications Kalai Natarajan said staff at the station reported the water leak at 2pm, and a maintenance team was immediately dispatched. She said on-site investigations revealed that the leaking pipe was connected to a sump pit that collects drainage water along the underpass to be channelled out of the station along the ceiling. The team redirected the flow from the leaking pipe to another channel.

As a safety precaution, a portion of the underpass walkway was cordoned off to redirect passengers away from the wet floor. Maintenance staff managed to contain the leak by 7.58pm. SMRT staff were also deployed to provide assistance to passengers.

"We clarify that while there is a slight unpleasant odour, there is no spillage from the toilets," said Ms Natarajan.