SINGAPORE - More than 30 people were injured after two buses collided at a bus stop in Bukit Batok on Friday morning (May 11).
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and police told The Straits Times they were alerted to the accident in Jalan Jurong Kechil, near Old Jurong Road, at about 9am.
SBS Transit's senior vice-president of corporate communications Tammy Tan said 34 people were taken to hospital. Of these, 24 received outpatient treatment while seven were warded and the other three are waiting to complete their medical assessments as of Friday evening.
SCDF said that the casualties were taken to three hospitals - Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, National University Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Police added that the victims were conscious when taken to the hospitals, and ST understands that their injuries are not serious. A pregnant woman is believed to be among the injured.
Ms Tan said that the accident involved service 157, which had collided into an SMRT bus at the bus stop. Five SBS Transit communications teams were at the hospitals to help those injured, she said.
"Immediately after the accident, our staff went down to the three hospitals to assist the injured. We are already in contact with most of them and will continue to try to get in touch with the rest," she said. "We will continue to monitor their progress and be on hand to help as much as we can. We are deeply apologetic for the distress and inconvenience caused."
She had earlier apologised for the incident and said the company's priority was the well-being of all injured passengers. SBS Transit is also assisting the police and the Land Transport Authority in their investigations.
SMRT vice-president of corporate communications Margaret Teo said the bus driver and several passengers on service 970 were injured in the accident. She added that the bus was hit from behind after it had stopped at the bus stop.
"Our CARE team is reaching out to them to render assistance. We would also like to apologise to affected passengers who were inconvenienced by this morning's accident," she said.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement on Friday afternoon that it takes a serious view of the accident and has emphasised to the bus operators that safety is of paramount importance.
"We are working closely with police, SBS Transit and SMRT to investigate the incident. We have also sent a team of care officers to the three hospitals to render assistance to the injured," said LTA.
A spokesman for Ng Teng Fong General Hospital told ST that it saw 15 patients involved in the accident. They comprise 12 women and three men, aged between 21 and 77.
All of them were in stable condition, the spokesman said. Three people had been admitted to the hospital, while six had been discharged as of about 1.15pm on Friday.
One of the passengers at the hospital, seen with slight bruises on the shoulder and a plaster on her kneecap, told The Straits Times she was getting off SMRT 970, the bus in front, when the SBS Transit 157 bus crashed into it from behind.
Another passenger, structural engineer Sudhakar, 37, who was travelling to work on the 157 bus with his wife, said they were standing at the front of the relatively packed bus when it crashed into the stationary 970 bus.
“We were talking to each other…and weren’t noticing what was happening…then suddenly we fell forward onto the bus floor,'' he said. He said his wife fractured her finger and palm.
Mr Sudhakar added that they were not required to pay for their medical costs, as a representative from SBS Transit offered to pay for their medical fees at the counter.
Three people carrying hampers from SBS Transit were also seen walking into Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
Facebook user Linie Gabas Sajonia shared photos of the aftermath in a post at about 10am, which show a badly damaged SBS Transit bus that had partially mounted the kerb.
A safety bollard at the bus stop helped break the impact of the crash.
The front windscreen of the bus was smashed and a large part of its front bumper had also fallen off.
Another photo shows the 970 SMRT bus with dents on its rear. Metal debris could be seen on the road.
When The Straits Times arrived at the scene at about 11am, staff and workers from the transport operators were seen working to clear the debris. The SMRT bus was towed away at about 11.30am.
The Land Transport Authority tweeted at about 10.15am that there was an accident on Jalan Jurong Kechil after Old Jurong Road. Motorists were told to avoid the leftmost lane.
Police investigations are ongoing.