Thursday Nov 16, 2017
SINGAPORE: A Singapore mass transit train bumped into another at a station on Wednesday injuring 28 people, authorities said, the latest mishap on the transit system in a city-state that has long prided itself on its efficient public services.
Transit operator SMRT said 26 passengers and two staff suffered light to moderate injuries and had been taken to the hospital.
“It’s an awful day,” Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said.
“Commuters were inconvenienced, and some even injured. We are deeply sorry for that,” Khaw was quoted by the Straits Times newspaper as telling a news conference.
Densely populated Singapore is highly dependent on public transport. It is one of the world’s most expensive places to own a vehicle and it recently announced that it would not allow any net growth in its car numbers from February next year.
The accident happened at 8.20 AM (0020 GMT), SMRT said in a statement.
A faulty west-bound train had stalled at Joo Koon station on the system’s East-West line two minutes earlier, it said.
A second train stopped behind the faulty train but moved forward unexpectedly a minute later, coming into contact with the stationary train.
A software glitch in the signalling system was the cause of Wednesday’s accident, the transit authorities later said.
A photograph posted on the Straits Times website showed two trains stopped and in contact but with no major damage apparent.
Earlier, the Singapore Civil Defence Force said in a Twitter post that it had been alerted to an incident at the station at 8:33 AM.
The collision comes after a string of disruptions to mass rapid transit services.
Last month, services were partially suspended on a weekend because of flooding in a tunnel after heavy rain.
The mishaps have led to a rare public apology by top transit executives and an assurance from the government to address the causes.