Bus driven into field after driver makes wrong turn
The driver of SMRT Bus Service 67 was on his way to drop off the empty bus at a depot late on Wednesday night when he made a wrong turn.
And the bus got stuck in a field in Toa Payoh for about 10 hours after he tried to correct his mistake and inadvertently worsened the situation.
Realising that Kim Keat Avenue was too narrow for his long bendy bus to make a U-turn, he opted for an out-of-the box solution.
He drove the bus from the road into a large field, in the hope of turning there.
But the plan backfired when the bus got stuck in the soft soil at around midnight.
Residents were dumbfounded to see the bus there yesterday morning.
By 7am, a crowd had gathered around the unusual sight.
Resident Ong Kwong told The New Paper: "This is unbelievable. How did he get stuck in the field? He should not have come in at all."
Mr Ong, who was on his way to breakfast when he saw the stranded bus, said the bus stop is actually far away.
The 67-year-old retiree said he had never seen anything like this before.
Resident Ong Kwong. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Another resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr Koh, 58, said he was shocked that the bus was there.
He said: "Once you come into this road, it is very difficult to exit. Even (smaller) school buses find it hard to turn in this lane."
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said he had heard beeping sounds from his block as the driver tried to free the bus from the mud at around midnight.
The noises stopped around 12.30am.
Some residents thought it was part of a show.
Madam Ong, 75, a cleaner who lives at Block 256, which is next to the field, said she thought it was an exhibition about a bendy bus, because they are uncommon in the area.
Mr Ong also initially thought it was an act or a show because of an advertisement on the bus about the President's Challenge.
In response to a query from TNP, SMRT vice-president for corporate information and communications Patrick Nathan said: "The bus captain was returning the vehicle to the bus depot early this morning when he took a wrong turn and attempted to make a U-turn on the field.
"We apologise to residents who may have been affected by the noise during the recovery effort. We are investigating the matter."
The Straits Times reported that workers from a towing company had to attach a chain to the back of the bus' chassis in order to yank it out of the soft soil.
The bus was finally towed from the field around 10.10am yesterday.
"This is unbelievable. How did he get stuck in the field? He should not have come in at all."
- Toa Payoh resident Ong Kwong
Other bus rides that went wrong
APRIL 13, 2014
An SBS Transit Service 157 bus took a wrong turn causing a huge hour-long jam along Upper Bukit Timah Road.
Instead of turning right into Dunearn Road, the bus captain drove straight into a one-way lane right in front of Beauty World Centre.
His attempts to reverse out of the narrow lane were fruitless, and he had to call SBS Transit for help.
JAN 6, 2013
An SMRT Service 106 bus took a wrong turn into Rochalie Drive. The bus captain immediately apologised to passengers on board and proceeded to return to the service route safely.
The wrong turn caused only a two-minute delay and no stops were missed.
JAN 23, 2009
A passenger complained in a letter to The Straits Times that the bus captain of SMRT Service 98 drove it into a petrol station, hoping to exit from the other side but almost collided into a car. SMRT reprimanded and issued a written warning to the driver. It also apologised to the affected passengers.