Thursday, April 19, 2012

More training needed to deal with passengers in emergencies: COI

SINGAPORE: How train drivers were trained to deal with passengers during emergency situations took the spotlight on the fourth day of the public inquiry into the two major disruptions on the North-South line in December.

More train drivers took to the stand to give their accounts to the Committee of Inquiry about what happened during the December 15 disruption.

Train drivers had different approaches of dealing with passengers when their trains stalled.

Some agreed they could be given more training on how to deal with emergencies.

The first train driver to take the stand on Thursday was Hardy Afandie, who was in train 139, which had one of its windows smashed because of a lack of ventilation.

His train stalled between Somerset and Orchard stations.

15 minutes after the train stalled, passengers pressed the emergency communication button and asked if the train was going to move and complained that it was very warm in the train.

Mr Hardy said the lights and air-conditioning in his own driver's cabin were still working at the time and the line voltage indicator was on, indicating that there was electrical supply.

He did not open the door between the driver's and passengers' cabins to check on their situation due to security reasons.

Mr Hardy said he has been a train driver since 1988 but has never had to deal with such a situation.

Another train driver Mohammed Alwi Sirat whose train stalled between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut stations dealt with the situation differently.

After passengers complained of stuffiness, he walked through half of the train to check on passengers.

He brought a passenger who was asthmatic to his driver's cabin to rest.

Both men agree that more training was required.

Mr Alwi said that in such situations, there were no manuals for him to refer to.

He has also not received any training in handling passengers in a situation where the train has stalled in the tunnel.

Mr Alwi said all he has been taught relates to the remedying of faults of the train and reporting accordingly to the train service controller.

Mr Hardy was asked by committee member Soh Wai Wah if he had received training to care and check on the well-being of passengers. He said he had not.

The third train driver to take the stands on Thursday was Mr Aw Thiam Huat.

Details on the first time the sagged third rail was noticed were also revealed.

Mr Aw said after passengers got off the train at City Hall station, he was asked to perform a check on the tracks and to keep a look out for any abnormalities.

A hundred metres from the station, he observed that the third rail was out of place some distance from his train.

He estimated about six metres of the third rail had collapsed.

He reported this to the chief controller and was told to stop his train.

Maintenance personnel turned up shortly.

Once repair of the third rail was completed, he said segments of the third rail covers were placed in the train and that the external sides of the covers had been badly scratched.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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