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Joo Koon collision points to systems 'failure', WP says in calling for 'exhaustive' checks

SINGAPORE – The Workers’ Party (WP) has called on transport operator SMRT to undertake an exhaustive investigation into Wednesday's (Nov 15) Joo Koon collision, saying the incident pointed to "a failure of the systems that ought to prevent such an event".

Joo Koon collision points to systems 'failure', WP says in calling for 'exhaustive' checks

The platform at Joo Koon MRT Station is partially closed after a collision between two trains on Wednesday morning (Nov 15). Photo: Low Youjin/TODAY

SINGAPORE – The Workers’ Party (WP) has called on transport operator SMRT to undertake an exhaustive investigation into Wednesday's (Nov 15) Joo Koon collision, saying the incident pointed to "a failure of the systems that ought to prevent such an event".

“While facts are still emerging, we ask that the LTA will work with the SMRT to undertake an exhaustive root cause analysis and make the necessary system improvements to minimise the risk of such an accident recurring,” the WP said in a statement on its website.

Adding that it was "disturbed" by the incident, the Opposition party added: "Millions of Singaporeans depend on the MRT for their daily commute. They should not have to worry about their safety when they travel to and from home, work, or school."

The WP also urged SMRT to cover the medical expenses of those injured by the collision at about 8.20am on Wednesday. Twenty-nine people were injured, with the majority treated at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and the National University Hospital.

“We call on SMRT to render all necessary support to them, and ensure that the company covers all their medical expenses resulting from this incident, including any long-term treatment costs,” the WP said. 

The Ministry of Transport, the Land Transport Authority and SMRT said they have been in touch with the injured passengers to offer the necessary assistance.

 

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) also put up a public statement. It reiterated its call for Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan to “resign his post” following the train collision.

On Wednesday, Mr Khaw had spoken about the Oct 7 MRT tunnel flooding incident at the inaugural Public Transport Workers' Appreciation Day. The minister said a small group of SMRT workers, who were responsible for the maintenance lapse, had “negated the good work of other SMRT workers and brought disrepute to other transport workers”.

Referring to Mr Khaw’s comments, the SDP said: “It is obvious that with the train collision this morning, the problems at SMRT is not confined to just a small band of workers. There is systemic failure on the part of the management team which at the apex sits Mr Khaw.”

SMRT shut down services between Boon Lay and Tuas Link stations for about two hours on Wednesday afternoon for the recovery of the two trains, which collided at the station's platform B.

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