LTA, SBS Transit to conduct emergency response exercise at Newton MRT on Feb 4

During the exercise, the fare gates at Exit C of the Downtown Line's Newton MRT Station will be closed.
During the exercise, the fare gates at Exit C of the Downtown Line's Newton MRT Station will be closed.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - A drill to test the response at public transport nodes during emergency situations will be carried out at the Downtown Line's Newton MRT Station on Feb 4, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SBS Transit said in a statement on Friday (Jan 26).

The six-hour drill, dubbed Exercise Station Guard 2018, aims to test SBS Transit's security measures and ground implementation plans at public transport nodes during periods of heightened security threats.

It will take place from 10am to 6pm, during which the fare gates at Exit C of the DTL Newton MRT Station will be closed.

Commuters will instead be directed to the fare gates near Exit A, where they will undergo security screening.

The transport operators advised commuters to avoid carrying large bags and to cater for additional travel time to factor in security screening.

Commuters' belongings will be scanned by X-ray machines and they will have to pass through metal detector frames before entering the fare gates.

LTA advised commuters to follow the instructions of the security officers while undergoing screening.

Entrances and exits of the Newton MRT Station on the North-South Line will not be affected by this exercise.

Mr Ngien Hoon Ping, LTA's chief executive and chairman of the Public Transport Security Committee, said the exercise was part of the regular review of security measures with public transport operators and other relevant agencies, in order to respond quickly and effectively if an incident occurs.

"It is of utmost importance that these plans are tested from time to time so that agencies are familiar with what they need to do in the event of a real emergency threat to the transport network," he said. "Such exercises also allow us to review and strengthen these plans."

SBS Transit chief executive Gan Juay Kiat said such exercises also engage the public, "reminding them that we can never take things for granted and to always be alert to situations around us".

He thanked commuters for their understanding and support.

LTA has conducted previous similar exercises, such as Exercise Greyhound 01/2017 at Little India Station in March last year.