Critical SOPs ignored in LRT crash, Train 81 allowed to move prematurely causing collision

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The Transport Ministry (MOT) has identified two key causes of the LRT collision on May 24 which left several people critically injured.

Firstly, the hostler (driver) and the Operation Control Centre (OCC) train controller “overlooked” and “missed critical procedures” when attempting to guide Train 40 to a “re-enter” point near the Dang Wangi LRT station.

This resulted in Train 40 being manually moved northbound towards the KLCC station on the wrong track.

Secondly, the “manual route reservation (MRR)” system used to hold Train 81 – carrying 213 passengers – while the Train 40 situation was being attended to, was compromised.

The MRR was lifted “prematurely”, causing Train 81 to depart the KLCC station and collide with Train 40.

This was explained by Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong in a press statement today, after he had briefed the cabinet on the matter yesterday.

“To reiterate, the findings of the investigation committee’s report aim to introduce systemic changes that will prevent similar future incidents and to repair confidence in the public transport services.

“It is not to apportion blame nor liability on any party,” he said.

Wee said the hostler of Train 40 encountered communication difficulties with the Operation Control Centre (OCC) that inadvertently led to the crash.

The hostler was employed to drive the train manually after it malfunctioned on May 24 while it was in the tunnel between the Kampung Baru and KLCC stations.

“The hostler did not report the track section number to the OCC. This should be reported periodically to the OCC,” Wee said.

Meanwhile, Train 81 received inaccurate information that Train 40 had departed.

The investigation committee chairman Isham Ishak said checks found Prasarana’s maintenance of its trains to be in order. “All of their trains are well-kept and well-maintained,” he said.

Wee also said the ministry will see to it that the company’s top management takes immediate action on the investigation committee report’s 23 recommendations, which he had tabled to the Cabinet yesterday.