SMRT Trains and two employees charged over deaths of two on railway track
SINGAPORE - SMRT Trains and two of its employees were charged in court on Thursday (Dec 1) over the accident along the MRT tracks earlier this year (2016) which claimed two lives, and investigations are ongoing to see if others may also be liable.
SMRT is accused of contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
The company, which is expected to plead guilty, is said to have failed to ensure that its employees complied with the approved operating procedures when accessing the track between Tampines and Pasir Ris MRT stations.
It also did not ensure that the procedures practised by its employees to access the track passed safety audits, were documented and disseminated, it is alleged.
In the same court, the company's director of control operations, Teo Wee Kiat, 40, is accused of a similar offence under the Act.
The company's officer-in-charge of the work party, Lim Say Heng, 47, is alleged to have caused the deaths of Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 25, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24 on March 22.
He allegedly failed to ensure that the necessary safety measures were in place to ensure that trains would not enter the track before accessing it, causing a train to hit the men.
The two men were part of a work party of 15 SMRT employees led by the officer-in-charge Lim , to carry out inspection works on the MRT tracks.
The six signalling workers and nine track workers were on a maintenance walkway near Pasir Ris station to check a possible fault in a component. As they approached the device, the signalling team, led by a supervisor, stepped onto the track.
The supervisor narrowly avoided being hit by the oncoming train but Nasrulhudin and Muhammad Asyraf, who were second and third in line, were unable to react in time.
The two young men were just two months into the job.
A pre-trial conference is set for Dec 30.
If convicted, Lim faces a jail term of up to two years and a fine.
Teo faces a fine of up to $200,000 and/or a jail term of up to two years.
SMRT Trains faces a fine of up to $500,000.
In a statement on Thursday (Dec 1), the Attorney-General's Chambers said that investigations are still ongoing to determine if any other individuals may be liable for workplace safety lapses in connection with the tragedy.
Responding to the charge against Mr Lim, the National Transport Workers' Union Executive Secretary Melvin Yong said the union would continue to work closely with Lim, a union member, to provide him and his family with support, and ensure that he was fairly represented.
"Whilst we cannot comment on any ongoing legal proceedings, the union maintains that it is important to allow due process to take its course and all facts to be revealed before drawing any conclusions," he said.