SMRT to raise safety awareness in wake of accident

SMRT has said it will put up more signs at Bukit Panjang LRT stations to remind commuters to stay behind the yellow line, and will also work to improve awareness of the proper use of the emergency train-stop button.

This comes after a coroner's inquiry into a fatal accident involving a man who was run over by two LRT trains at Fajar LRT station in March.

State Coroner Marvin Bay had said on Wednesday that it will " be useful to raise public awareness of the existing measures available, such as the emergency stop plunger, the safety zone and the staircase access back to the platform to avert disaster whenever a person falls onto the track".

The inquiry had found that cook Ang Boon Tong, 43, was drunk when he fell onto the tracks.

During the inquiry, Mr Chia Chun Wah, senior vice-president for the Circle Line and Bukit Panjang LRT Special Projects at SMRT, had said that the safest option for passengers who have fallen onto the tracks is to stay in the middle of two electrified train tracks. But this is not clearly marked.

Passengers could also climb a flight of stairs at the end of the platform or shout for someone to press an emergency stop plunger located at either end of the platform. But Mr Chia said there are no signs for either.

Yesterday, SMRT's vice-president for corporate communications, Mr Patrick Nathan, said it was taking up some of the coroner's suggestions. "We will put up additional signage at BP LRT station platforms to remind commuters to stay behind the yellow line for their safety. We will also work to improve commuters' awareness of the proper use of the emergency train-stop button," he said.

He repeated that there is a host of measures to prevent falls onto the tracks.

These include fixed barriers at station platforms, safety reminders displayed on posters and regular announcements reminding passengers to stand behind the yellow line while waiting for the train.

Mr Nathan said that SMRT is reaching out to Mr Ang's family to offer assistance. Mr Ang is survived by his wife, Madam Lee Yoon Cheng, 40, and his three children, aged between nine and 17 years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2017, with the headline 'SMRT to raise safety awareness in wake of accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe