Commuters caught in 'human jams' during evening peak at stations along EWL

Commuters were caught in "human jams" along the East-West line on the evening of Feb 7, 2017.
Commuters were caught in "human jams" along the East-West line on the evening of Feb 7, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Commuters who were returning home from work got caught in "human jams" at some stations along the East-West Line on Tuesday (Feb 7) evening, with one commuter saying at least two packed trains went by without stopping.

The crowds spilled out of the platforms and up to the gantries, eyewitnesses told The Straits Times.

SMRT had said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon that urgent works near Joo Koon station were needed to replace a track point, which guides the direction of train travel.

It advised commuters to expect similar delays in the evening.

Senior marketing manager Patrick Lim, 42, told The Straits Times that he was leaving his workplace at International Plaza with his colleague at about 6.30pm when he saw that Tanjong Pagar MRT station was packed with people.

"A lot of people were at the platform but we saw that people couldn't get on when the train came. They didn't even open the doors," he said.

 

At least two trains went by, pausing at the platform but not opening the doors for commuters, he said.

Mr Lim added that there were no announcements or signs put up to inform commuters of what was going on.

"The station people were quite nice and helped us, deducted the entry charges," he said.

He took a bus home to Tiong Bahru and got home about 40 minutes later, when he usually gets home in less than 10 minutes.

His colleague, senior marketing manager Nadia Dawood, 37, was still on the bus home at 7.25pm when she spoke to The Straits Times.

She said she would have been at Bukit Batok by 7.15pm if not for the jams.

There were jams at other MRT stations including Buona Vista, according to posts by commuters on social media.

https://twitter.com/hoyastongue/status/828921195235979265

SMRT in its earlier statement on Facebook said that its urgent works are usually planned to take place over a weekend to minimise impact on commuters, but added that this was "an urgent and critical case".