SMRT sacks train driver in fatal track accident

An SMRT train arrives at a station in Singapore on July 19, 2016.
An SMRT train arrives at a station in Singapore on July 19, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Transport operator SMRT Corp has fired the train driver who was involved in a fatal track accident that killed two of his colleagues in March.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Rahmat Mohd, 49, was dismissed yesterday after an internal disciplinary inquiry.

Mr Rahmat, who was reassigned to a non-driving job after the accident, said he felt "sad" about the company's decision. "I've no plans at the moment," he added.

Sources said an operations control centre staff member had also left earlier on account of the incident.

SMRT spokesman Patrick Nathan said the company does not comment on staff disciplinary measures.

 
 

National Transport Workers' Union executive secretary Melvin Yong said: "NTWU understands that SMRT has taken action to dismiss two workers related to the incident on March 22. NTWU has previously written to SMRT to withhold any actions against the affected workers until completion of official investigations so as to not prejudice the outcome of the official investigations. We will now review the situation, study the grounds for SMRT dismissal, and work with the affected staff on the next steps."

Two SMRT maintenance workers were killed while they were on an East-West Line track near Pasir Ris station on the morning of March 22. Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24, were hit by an oncoming train while they were undergoing on-the-job training.

The two men were part of a group of 15 sent to investigate a possible fault with a track equipment.

SMRT said in April - after an internal probe into the tragedy - that failure to follow safety measures had led to the accident.

Lapses included allowing a train to ply in automatic mode while workers were on site, not deploying watchmen to look out for approaching trains, and failing to provide early warning to the work team.

The Ministry of Manpower had also called on the operator to tighten its safety procedures a week after the fatal incident. A coroner's inquiry into the accident is expected to convene early next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'SMRT sacks train driver in fatal track accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe