MRT driver taken to hospital after lightning strikes train

A city-bound MRT train on the East-West Line was struck by lightning around 4pm near Bedok station yesterday.

The incident - the second in 18 months - crippled the train and injured the driver.

Travel in both directions was delayed for at least 10 minutes between Tanah Merah and Paya Lebar.

Operator SMRT said the train stalled as it approached Bedok station. Passengers alighted at the station, and the train was withdrawn "for investigation", SMRT spokesman Patrick Nathan said, adding that the driver complained he was unwell afterwards.

Sources said he complained of numbness and chest pains. He was taken in an ambulance to Changi General Hospital where he has been warded.

Trains on surface lines are occasionally struck by lightning. The last reported case was in May last year, when an SMRT train on the North-South Line was crippled by lightning, disrupting services.

Yesterday, Mr Nathan reiterated that occupants are safe from lightning strikes. They are protected by what is known as a Faraday cage, an enclosure formed by conductive material that blocks electric fields from entering the cabin.