East-West MRT service disrupted as person who entered tunnel killed

Service on the MRT's East-West Line was disrupted last night after a person who entered a tunnel near Lavender station was killed.

SMRT tweeted at 9.48pm that the service disruption between Bugis and Aljunied was due to a "train incident", but would not say more.

The Straits Times understands a person had intruded into the eastbound tunnel from a portal area - where the train tracks enter the underground tunnel - at Lavender.

It is unclear how the person had accessed the tracks. ST understands high fences are in place to prevent unauthorised access through the portals.

In a statement posted on Facebook after 11pm, SMRT said the incident took place at about 9.30pm between Lavender and Kallang stations towards Pasir Ris.


A person was subsequently pronounced dead on the east-bound track near Kallang station, it said.

SMRT suspended train services between Bugis and Aljunied in both directions, closed Lavender and Kallang stations and activated free regular bus and free bus bridging services. It said it is assisting in police investigations.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for help at about 9.35pm. An SCDF paramedic pronounced a person dead at the scene.

Freelance worker Bessie Tan, 59, said she was on a train from town at around 9.30pm when passengers were told to disembark at Bugis.

"We boarded the next train which carried passengers, but it didn't leave Bugis and we were all told to leave the train again," she said.

She added that at first, the announcement at the station "mumbled something like an incident at Lavender".

This is the first MRT track fatality since two SMRT trainees were knocked down by a train in March 2016.

But a more recent track death happened in March 2017, when a drunken person got onto the Bukit Panjang LRT tracks near Fajar Station and was hit by a train.

SMRT activated bridging bus services to ply the four-station stretch between Bugis and Aljunied, and made regular bus services free as well.

Mr Jordan Lim, a 20-year-old student, initially thought it was a regular train breakdown but was wondering why the train lights were switched off.

"It didn't really make sense to me. Then I stopped and saw the flashlights in the front part of the carriage, so I speculated that someone might have got knocked over."

This article was first published in The Straits Times