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SMRT to be fined S$1.9m for deaths of two trainees, tunnel flooding incident

RAIL operator SMRT faces fines totalling S$1.9 million for two incidents - an accident in March 2016 which resulted in the death of two SMRT trainees and the Bishan MRT tunnel flooding incident in October last year which disrupted train services for about 231,000 passengers.

In a statement on Friday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that in the 2016 case, investigations found the SMRT work team had not complied with operating procedures for track access during train service hours.

"These lapses were further compounded by inadequate supervision of MRT operations at the time of the accident," it said, adding that the operator had failed to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of employees.

On March 22 2016, two SMRT trainees were hit by a train while they were on the railway tracks as they investigated a possible signalling fault between Tampines and Pasir Ris stations.

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SMRT will be fined S$400,000 for this incident.

In the case of last October's flooding incident, LTA's investigations found SMRT "fully responsible", as it would have been preventable if the Bishan storm water sump pit and its pumping system had been properly maintained.

The authority said it intended to issue a fine of S$1.5 million to SMRT for the incident under the Rapid Transit Systems Act.

"In assessing the penalty amount for each of the two incidents, LTA has considered all facts and the severity of the incidents. LTA will also consider any other mitigating facts which the operator may raise as part of the due process for the imposition of the financial penalties," it said, adding that the fines collected will go to the Public Transport Fund to help needy families with transport fares.

The LTA added that last November's collision between two trains at the Joo Koon station was due to a problem with the signalling system and not by SMRT's actions.

THE STRAITS TIMES

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