SMRT collision: 7 more commuters seek treatment after Wednesday's incident; 36 injured in all

The crowd exiting Joo Koon station on Nov 16, 2017. LTA and SMRT reported that seven more people who were injured in the Joo Koon accident sought treatment at hospitals.
The crowd exiting Joo Koon station on Nov 16, 2017. LTA and SMRT reported that seven more people who were injured in the Joo Koon accident sought treatment at hospitals.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Seven more commuters sought treatment for Wednesday morning's (Nov 15) train collision, bringing the total number injured by the accident at Joo Koon MRT station to 36.

Giving an update as of 6pm on on Thursday (Nov 16), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and train operator SMRT said in a joint statement that there was a new walk-in case at the National University Hospital (NUH), with the patient having returned home since.

At Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH), there were five new walk-in cases. The hospital also received another new case conveyed by ambulance who is currently being treated.

Meanwhile, three commuters who were warded for observation on Wednesday remain in hospital. No details on their conditions were given.

Among the 36 injured, two were SMRT employees, who were treated and discharged on Wednesday.

An unprecedented software glitch in the new signalling system of the East-West Line resulted in the collision between two MRT trains at Joo Koon station.

This resulted in a train at Joo Koon platform being mistakenly profiled as a three-car train instead of a six-car one in the system after it passed a faulty circuit.

A second train, which initially stopped at the correct safety distance of 10.7m behind the first one, "misjudged the distance" between itself and the train in front of it a minute later and lurched forward resulting in a collision.

Passengers on the second train, which was carrying 517, were thrown by the impact, with several suffering knocks, fractures and bruises.

One commuter was said to have suffered a face injury with a tooth broken.

Passengers who were affected by the collision may approach staff at any SMRT station for assistance at any time or call 1800-336-8900.

As a precaution, SMRT and LTA stopped train services between Joo Koon and Tuas Link to facilitate investigations on Thursday.

This section of the line, called the Tuas West Extension opened in June (2017) and uses a new signalling system. The rest of the East-West Line employs an older 30-year-old system, and is expected to migrate to the new one by the end of the year.

The French firm which provided the signalling system, Thales, has said that this was the first time such an incident had happened

Following the collision, trains on the North-South and East-West lines also had longer intervals between them as a safety precaution. The two-minute interval between trains during peak hours was slowed down to between 2 1/2 minutes and three minutes.

The authorities did not give any other updates on their investigation findings after Wednesday evening when it said it would do checks on signalling circuits on both the East-West and North-South lines.