Reports in the Today paper on 23 Mar stated this, ‘However, SMRT Corporation chief executive officer Desmond Kwek maintains that the two victims were walking behind their supervisor and the 15 member team were walking in single file on the 0.5m wide walkway…They were 50m away from the location of the signaling equipment at the time of the tragedy.’
My contention, if the team was walking in single file in a path for maintenance personnel, the path should be safe enough to walk on, passing safety guidelines. The train would go pass them, with a bit of squeeze, but safely. The fact that the supervisor was in front of the single file, he would be the first to be hit if the train could hit the two behind him. What supposedly happened, the train missed hitting the first man, but could hit the second and the third, and missed the rest behind the third man. This was only possible if the train jumped track after going pass the first man, hit two men, then jumped back to the main track. Of course this was highly unlikely, impossible.
Today’s reports on 24 Mar have a bit more detail, with timeline of what happened but still left a lot of blanks to be filled. It went with the 15men team walking in single file, and ‘SMRT said before the team was allowed to step back onto the trackway it had to coordinate with the station’s signal unit “for oncoming trains to be brought to a stop and to ensure that no trains enter the affected sector”. “Our records do not show that this procedure took place.” SMRT said.’
So, were the men crossing onto the track to the signal equipment or 50 meters away? The above statement suggested that the men or some of the men were crossing the track or on the track near the equipment. It was only in such a position, on the track that they could be hit by the oncoming train.
What is strange is that the report did not say whether they were on the track or otherwise. What was also strange is that it was a procedural lapse, never get permission to cross onto the track.
Remember, even if there was no permission requested or granted, 15 men were at the scene. Did anyone see or hear the train coming? Did anyone shout for whoever were on the track to jump off the track? All the 15 men were blind and deaf? No one see the train coming? How does a chicken cross the road? Wait for the traffic light to turn red. Then look left, look right, all clear then cross. Would anyone in the middle of a road, or in this case in a train track, would be oblivious of oncoming train, no need to pay attention to look out for on coming train?
What is the true story? Were the men on the train track? Did anyone see the train coming? Did anyone shout to those on the train? Silent movie?
Oh ST quoted one of the men saying they were crossing onto the track and saying, “We didn’t realize that there was a train coming towards us…After I put my foot over the rail, my senior technical officer behind shouted: ‘Train is coming! Train is coming!’” This is about as complete as you can get. Still a question goes abegging. Why no one was assigned to watch out for oncoming trains in a ‘live firing’ area?
The train cannot hit anyone on the walkpath. If it could, it would hit the first man and the rest of the team unless it came to an immediate halt.
Even if the procedure was not followed, no record, there were 15 pairs of eyes and ears to see and hear the train coming? It was dangerous, but could the accident be avoided if the eyes and ears were open?
What do you think?