One person killed on East-West line track

Intrusion at tunnel near Lavender station; services disrupted

Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel with the stationary MRT train on the east-bound track near Kallang station yesterday. SMRT said the incident took place at about 9.30pm.
Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel with the stationary MRT train on the east-bound track near Kallang station yesterday. SMRT said the incident took place at about 9.30pm.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Service along the East-West MRT Line was disrupted yesterday evening after a person who entered a tunnel near Lavender station was killed.

Operator SMRT tweeted at 9.48pm that the disruption between Bugis and Aljunied stations was due to a "train incident".

The Straits Times understands a person had intruded into the eastbound tunnel from a portal area - where the train tracks enter the underground tunnel - at Lavender.

It is unclear how the person had accessed the tracks. ST understands high fences are in place to prevent unauthorised access through the portals.

In a statement posted on Facebook after 11pm, SMRT said the incident took place at about 9.30pm between Lavender and Kallang stations towards Pasir Ris.

A person was subsequently pronounced dead on the east-bound track near Kallang station, it said.

SMRT suspended train services between Bugis and Aljunied in both directions, closed Lavender and Kallang stations and activated free regular bus and free bus bridging services. It said it is assisting in police investigations.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for help at about 9.35pm. An SCDF paramedic pronounced a person dead at the scene.

Freelance worker Bessie Tan, 59, said she was on a train from town at around 9.30pm when passengers were told to disembark at Bugis. "We boarded the next train which carried passengers, but it didn't leave Bugis and we were all told to leave the train again."

She added that at first, the announcement at the station "mumbled something like an incident at Lavender".

This is the first MRT track fatality since two SMRT trainees were knocked down by a train in March 2016. A more recent track death happened on the Bukit Panjang LRT in March 2017, when a drunken person got onto tracks near Fajar Station, was hit by a train and died.

Mr Jordan Lim, a 20-year-old student, initially thought it was a regular train breakdown but saw the train lights were switched off.

"Then I stopped and saw the flashlights in the front part of the carriage, so I speculated that someone might have been knocked over."

Freelance writer Sng Ler Jun, 24, was running near Kallang MRT station with a friend when the flashing lights from SCDF trucks caught his attention. He went directly below the tracks, where he heard officers shouting "trauma bag".

"This is my first time experiencing something like that."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2021, with the headline 'One person killed on East-West line track'. Subscribe