Train not supposed to be at affected area
The train that hit the two SMRT trainees was not supposed to be at the affected area where the team of workers was conducting checks.
The train captain saw them on the track and applied emergency brakes but it was too late, according to SMRT in an update yesterday.
SMRT revealed that according to procedure, the 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.
It is not clear where the communication breakdown occurred - whether it was between the team and the signal unit, or between the signal unit and the train.
At about 8am on Tuesday, a team of 15 was investigating an alarm that had gone off at a servicing point near Pasir Ris MRT station.
The group was made up of an engineer, five assistant engineers, five technical officers and four trainees.
At about 10.50am, the track team and the signal team were authorised to head to the tracks.
They moved down from the station platform, crossed the track and accessed the maintenance walkway - which is 0.5m-wide - in a single file to reach the device.
"They followed the safety procedure of walking in the direction facing oncoming train traffic," the statement said.
The victims were right behind the lead assistant engineer. It is unclear who was on the track and who was on the maintenance walkway when the accident happened.
Before the accident, the train was moving in automatic mode and routed to Platform 2.
Pasir Ris MRT station is a terminal station with two platforms. Trains arriving at the Pasir Ris station can berth at either platforms by crossing from one track to the other as they approach the station.
It was reported yesterday that the train had been travelling at 60kmh.
The statement added: "We are continuing to support the Police and the Ministry of Manpower in their ongoing investigations."
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
8.08am: Signalling condition monitoring device along the tracks registers a warning.
10.54am: Authorisation is given to 15 men to move down from the station platform, cross the tracks and access the maintenance walkway to proceed to the location of the device.
11.08am: A train moving in automatic mode is routed to Platform 2. The train captain sees workers on the track and applies emergency brakes but is unable to prevent the accident.
The 15 men - one engineer, five assistant engineers, five technical officers and four trainees - were from two teams. An experienced assistant engineer leads the way as they walk in single file along the 0.5m-wide maintenance walkway.
This is the first time that a fatality involving SMRT staff has happened on the North-South East-West Lines. SMRT has established a team to immediately evaluate all workplace safety procedures and has also instituted mandatory work-team level safety reviews.