April 19, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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LRT accident shocks the nation

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 25  — Two trains collided in a tunnel here on the Kelana Jaya LRT line on Monday night, resulting in 47 passengers seriously injured and 166 more sustaining minor injuries. 

Photographs and videos shared on social media showing the LRT passengers injured, sitting, lying down, some even seen bleeding, in the 8.45 pm incident between the Kampung Baru Station and KLCC stations  shocked the nation. 

The incident took place at a time when the country is already grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the people’s focus shifted momentarily to the accident involving a train carrying passengers and another that was being test-driven.

A total of 213 passengers in one train were injured and sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital and several nearby hospitals.

Dang Wangi police chief ACP Mohamad Zainal Abdullah said all the passengers were in a train traveling from the KLCC LRT station to Gombak LRT station, while the other train, with only one driver and no passengers, was from the Kampung Baru LRT Station and also headed to the Gombak LRT Station.

At the scene, rescuers comprising the police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force (APM) and the Malaysian Armed Forces worked hard to assist in the rescue work and evacuate the victims.

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All passengers were evacuated at about 9.50 pm and sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) and several nearby hospitals for treatment.

The HKL Emergency and Trauma Department was filled with anxious family members of the victims, but newsmen were not allowed to approach them for interviews.

Service operator, Prasarana Bhd apologised for the inconvenience caused. 

Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department director Nordin Pauzi said they had difficulty removing the victims because the tunnel was narrow. In addition, they also had to be wary of the train track electrical cables. 

He also said that when the rescue team arrived, some doors had already been opened and there were victims exiting the train to save themselves.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who also visited the scene, said a special task force would be set up soon to investigate the cause of the accident.

A preliminary report on the incident is set to be handed over to the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) director-general tomorrow morning while the result of the probe by the special task force is expected to be presented to the ministry in two weeks time.

The incident also caught the attention of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who immediately directed all quarters to extend their full cooperation to ensure all the victims get comprehensive treatment as the country is in a COVID-19 pandemic with a rising number of cases.

In taking the accident seriously, Muhyiddin has instructed the ministry and Prasarana to conduct a full investigation to identify the cause of the accident and for firm action to be taken immediately.

BERNAMA