Woman's leg stuck in platform gap at station

Above: The woman was taken to the National University Hospital after the incident. Left: Commuter Brandon Wong said he tried to calm the woman down and assisted SMRT staff in lifting her leg out of the gap.
The woman was taken to the National University Hospital after the incident.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Above: The woman was taken to the National University Hospital after the incident. Left: Commuter Brandon Wong said he tried to calm the woman down and assisted SMRT staff in lifting her leg out of the gap.
Commuter Brandon Wong said he tried to calm the woman down and assisted SMRT staff in lifting her leg out of the gap.PHOTO: BRANDON WONG/FACEBOOK

A woman travelling on the MRT Circle Line got her leg trapped in the gap between the platform and a train that had stopped at Buona Vista station during the morning peak period yesterday.

In a Facebook post yesterday morning, commuter Brandon Wong said the train was "full to the brim and passengers were rushing to get out of the train".

A woman fell after she was pushed and her right leg, from the knee down, was caught in the gap.

Mr Wong added that he tried to calm the woman down and assisted SMRT staff in lifting her leg out of the gap.

Ms Margaret Teo, SMRT vice-president of corporate communications, confirmed the incident and said the emergency stop feature at the platform was activated immediately before station staff and other commuters helped to free the woman's leg. The incident happened at 8.45am on the train travelling towards HarbourFront station.

The woman was later taken to the National University Hospital.

"Our care team is reaching out to her and we hope she recovers quickly," Ms Teo said.

She added that the incident led to a 10-minute delay in train service.

Commuters were told of the service delay through in-train and station announcements.

In his Facebook post, Mr Wong urged train commuters to help others in need and sympathise with them, rather than to simply "stand around taking photographs and videos". He also suggested that SMRT work on its staff's emergency response time and give them more training on how to administer first aid.

"The lady's leg got caught at 8.45am, the first SMRT staff (member) on the scene arrived 45 seconds later, the second one more than a minute later," he wrote.

"I understand that the morning crowd at Buona Vista can get pretty unmanageable, but there has to be more urgency. Furthermore, any talk of an ambulance wasn't even initiated until more than 10 minutes later. In my view, that's far too slow."

Mr Wong said he held the woman's hand to reassure her that the train had been manually stopped and that he and the staff would help her get her leg out of the gap. He also thanked a medical student who stepped forward to help.

Mr Wong's Facebook post left users divided, with some questioning his criticism of the SMRT staff.

User Shamsul said "45 seconds is already quite fast unless the MRT staff was standing just 20m away".

Others applauded Mr Wong for his thoughtfulness.

"Thank you very much for (your) quick thinking, young man. It could be anyone's mother or sister or daughter," wrote another user.

The user also noted that while other commuters stared or busied themselves with other things, "you came and helped without hesitation... Kudos".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2019, with the headline 'Woman's leg stuck in platform gap at station'. Print Edition | Subscribe