Grieving best friend of dead SMRT staff: 'I couldn't think'
It happened so quickly, he barely had enough time to get out of the way of the oncoming train.
But when Mr Muhammad Hatin Kamil looked up again, he could only watch as his best friend and SMRT colleague Nasrulhudin Najumudin was run over on the tracks near Pasir Ris MRT station and killed on Tuesday (March 22) morning.
Another colleague, Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, also died after being hit by the train.
Recalling the tragic incident, Mr Hatin, 24, told The Straits Times: "Aysraf's body flew over behind me, like 5m away.
"This happened right in front of my eyes.
"I couldn't think. I went back to the platform, I couldn't do anything."
Unable to hear oncoming train
The trio were part of a 15-man team that was sent to investigate a fault.
Mr Nasrulhudin and Mr Asryaf were second and third in a single file line behind their supervisor while Mr Hatin was the fifth man.
To reach their destination, Mr Hatin said the group had to cross the third rail which provides trains with power - and was still live.
Mr Hatin said: "We didn't realise that there was a train coming towards us from this second track, going to our track, the first track.
"After I put my foot over the rail, my senior technical officer behind shouted: 'Train is coming! Train is coming!'
"Our environment up there is different - you wouldn't be able to hear the train coming."
Mr Hatin avoided being hit by stepping back on the walkway before clinging to the railing on the side.
It is still unclear as to how the supervisor escaped while the two dead men did not.
SMRT: Procedure not followed
On Wednesday (March 23), SMRT said that according to procedure, the maintenance team must coordinate with the signal unit at the station before they are allowed on the track.
The signal unit at the station will then ensure that oncoming trains are brought to a stop and there are no trains entering the affected sector.
"Our records do not show that this procedure took place," said the SMRT statement.
Mr Hatin, who broke down on seeing Mr Nasrulhudin's body while paying his respects on Wednesday (March 23) morning, had joined SMRT as a maintenance staff trainee in January with his friend.
He said: ""He was my best buddy. He was my everything... my work buddy.
"He was always with me; we ate breakfast at 4am together.
"The person in charge knows the system because they are more senior than us. Our job was to observe.
"It's very harsh. I don't know who is at fault."
Source: The Straits Times
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