Lucky switch of court for tennis coach

An SBS Transit bus crashed into a tennis complex next to the Yio Chu Kang interchange yesterday. No one was hurt in the accident, and the bus was removed at around 7.45pm. SBS Transit said it is probing the accident.
An SBS Transit bus crashed into a tennis complex next to the Yio Chu Kang interchange yesterday. No one was hurt in the accident, and the bus was removed at around 7.45pm. SBS Transit said it is probing the accident.ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

A bus making a turn in Yio Chu Kang interchange yesterday evening went into its neighbouring tennis complex instead, toppling a lamp post and crashing through a fence before stopping on a tennis court.

No one was hurt in the accident, which happened at around 6.20pm. The court where the bus ended up was not in use then. The bus was removed at around 7.45pm.

A tennis coach, who wanted to be known only as Mr Marcus, said he was supposed to have a lesson at the court where the accident took place, but decided to move to an adjacent court at the last minute.

The 56-year-old, who was teaching a student at the time, said: "There was a loud bang because the bus hit a lamp post."

He added that it was not speeding but went through the fence.

The bus driver, a middle-aged man, "seemed to be in a daze", he said. Glass shards were left scattered across the affected court. "It's lucky we switched courts," he said.

SBS Transit said it is taking the accident seriously and investigating the matter. It added that it will also "take remedial action".

Said Ms Tammy Tan, its senior vice-president of corporate communications: "We are thankful that no one was on the tennis court and no passengers were on board at that time. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."

Mr Bob Tang, 65, another tennis coach at the complex, said he was taking a break when he heard a "loud crash". He rushed over to find out what had happened, worried for his fellow coach. "I saw the bus driver standing there, waiting. Luckily only one court was in use. It's just pure luck that nobody was playing."

Soon after, he saw more staff coming to help.

The coach, who has taught at the Yio Chu Kang tennis complex for over 20 years, said he would often see buses making turns at the interchange at a rather high speed.

Yesterday morning, a man was trapped under another bus after an accident in Hougang. On Thursday, an SMRT bendy bus was stuck on a field in Kim Keat for 10 hours after the driver made a wrong turn.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2016, with the headline 'Lucky switch of court for tennis coach'. Print Edition | Subscribe