Singapore

SMRT workers killed by train were undergoing training

These men were undergoing on-the-job training near Pasir Ris station when they died

For both young men, it was their first job.

Tragically, it turned out to be their last as well.

Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24, were undergoing training at SMRT when they died.

The two were part of a team of 15 track and signalling technicians who were investigating an alarm that had gone off at a servicing point on the tracks near Pasir Ris MRT station yesterday around 11.10am when they were hit by a train.

The bodies of the two men were found motionless and they were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

SMRT said Mr Nasrulhudin and Mr Asyraf, who joined the company in January, were undergoing on-the-job training at the time of the accident.

Mr Nasri Najumudin, the eldest brother of Mr Nasrulhudin, said the SMRT job was his brother's first after completing national service last year. He was a Temasek Polytechnic engineering graduate.

Likewise, it was Mr Asyraf's first job after graduating from the Institute of Technical Education.

Speaking to The New Paper outside his Tampines flat yesterday evening, Mr Nasri, who is in his 30s, said that while they are grieving the loss of their loved one, they accept the tragedy as God's will.

JOVIAL

"He was a very jovial and friendly person, and we were all very close," Mr Nasri said softly of his brother, who was the third of four boys.

"Right now, we don't want to speculate as to what happened because SMRT is still conducting its investigations."

As friends and relatives streamed in and out of the flat, Mr Nasri and his younger brother thanked the guests for visiting the family.

One of the relatives who visited was their uncle, Mr Kamaruddin Mohammad Shabudin.

He had rushed down from Woodlands when he heard about the death of his nephew.

"He and I were close since he was a young boy," said the 52-year-old.

"We were very fond of him," he added, gesturing to his wife.

With tears in his eyes, he related how a young Mr Nasrulhudin would ask to be taken on trips.

Grieving relatives also described Mr Asyraf as a well-behaved son who never gave his family any trouble.

They said they were still trying to come to terms with the sudden news and declined to comment further.

His younger brother, younger sister and parents have been in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for a pilgrimage since last Thursday. They are expected to return today.

His older brother, who is in Singapore, was at the mortuary when TNP visited their relative's home at Lengkong Empat in Kembangan, where prayers were being held.

Many visitors streamed into the condominium to offer their condolences last night. They declined to comment further out of respect for Mr Asyraf's family.

Witness: Workers shouted, waved hands in air

She first spotted the group of SMRT workers walking on the tracks at about 11am yesterday.

Mrs Tandra Haldei, who lives opposite Pasir Ris MRT station at Block 528B, Pasir Ris Street 51, was surprised as it was her first time seeing workers on the tracks.

She has been living there with her husband and their two young children for two years.

But then Mrs Tandra heard the workers scream and shout.

The 34-year-old housewife said: "I looked out of my living room window and saw them waving their hands in the air.

"They looked like they were trying to stop the train that was approaching in their direction. It was moving so fast that I was scared for them."

Within seconds, she heard a loud screech from the train brakes.

"The next thing I knew, the train had stopped and I saw a body on the tracks," Mrs Tandra, who was alone at home at the time of the accident, told The New Paper.

"I was so shocked that the deaths took place so near my home. I feel so sad for the victims."

SHOUTS

Another resident, Mr Jufri Jasni, 32, said he heard repeated shouts of: "Oi! Oi!"

"But I did not think much of it as I thought they were just doing maintenance work," he added.

The operations manager found out about the two deaths only a few hours later when he watched the news on TV.

He said he felt deeply saddened at the loss of two young lives.

"These accidents are avoidable," said Mr Jufri.

"I hope SMRT will look into this incident and tackle these risk issues. We're talking about real lives here."

The two men who died are Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24.

According to SMRT, both joined the company in January and were undergoing on-the-job training at the time of the accident.

The police have classified this as an unnatural death and are investigating with SMRT.

— ZACHARY SOH, LAURA CHIA

Track accident

The last fatal accident involving SMRT employees was in 2010.

A technician was hit by an LRT train while attending to a fault on the track.The 48-year-old was at a designated walkway, checking the power rail between Bukit Panjang and Phoenix stations, when an oncoming train hit him at Phoenix station.

He suffered injuries to his head and legs and died 12 days later without emerging from a coma.

The technician, who had been with SMRT for 11 years, left behind a wife and three daughters.

 

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