Commuters involved in Joo Koon MRT collision upset as little or no assistance rendered
It could have been handled better.
By now, everyone knows about the Joo Koon MRT collision that happened on Nov. 15, 2017.
A total of 517 passengers were on the moving train and at least 29 people were reported to have been injured due to the collision.
Khaw Boon Wan apologised and said “it was an awful day”, but the negative sentiments from the affected commuters were not just because of the injuries and inconveniences caused.
Staff were unprepared to handle emergencies
According to a letter submitted to The Online Citizen, one Chen GJ was on the stationary train when the collision happened.
According to him, one foreign worker couldn’t get up due to the impact.
When activating the emergency communication button didn’t expedite assistance being rendered, another commuter decided to alert the driver to the casualty and another SMRT staff came along to check on the foreign worker.
When asked if it was possible to evacuate the injured foreign worker through just one door of the cabin, the SMRT staff said it wouldn’t be possible as all the train doors would open and this could endanger the safety of all passengers.
Only after half an hour later did the driver’s door open and only then was the injured man evacuated.
Lack of assistance reported on mainstream media
Claims of lack of assistance right after the collision have also been reported by Channel News Asia, who spoke to a female passenger who was unnamed:
“The train carriage was quite packed, and when the train hit the stationary train, everybody flew,” she said.
After passengers in the affected trains disembarked, no SMRT staff stepped forward to help, the passenger said.
“When I left the train, there was no one there to help,” she replied, when asked if there were people to check on commuters’ wellbeing. “I was limping all the way.”
Commuters still charged for trips
Although free bus bridging services were activated, some commuters still had to pay for their train journey despite the inefficiency that the collision had caused.
According to Chen, he approached three staff regarding the fare deduction and found out that only one gantry was available to avoid being charged.
This would have added to the congestion at Joo Koon, in addition to the long queues of people collecting excuse chits and cancelling the overstaying charges at the ticket office.
Lack of updates
In the age of digital media and unreliable MRT system, Singaporeans depend on social media to stay updated, especially when there’s a delay in their daily commute.
However, these commuters felt that the information given by SMRT’s twitter account wasn’t reflective of the situation on the ground at all.
In fact, the additional travel time estimated by SMRT was way off compared to what commuters faced.
Commuters who were waiting at affected train stations were equally clueless as there were little to no updates as to what was happening, except for the announcement that there was a faulty train on the East-West line.
It has since been revealed that the collision was likely caused by a glitch in the new train control system.