SMRT Trains and two employees charged over deaths of two on railway track
Teo Wee Kiat (left) and Lim Say Heng were charged in court on Thursday (Dec 1) over the accident along the MRT tracks earlier this year that claimed two lives. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Published Dec 1, 2016, 10:16 am SGT
Updated 9 hours ago
SINGAPORE - SMRT Trains and two of its employees were charged in court on Thursday (Dec 1) over an accident along the MRT tracks earlier this year (2016).
Two workers died after they were hit by a train on March 22.
SMRT, which is expected to plead guilty, is accused of contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act by failing to ensure that its employees complied with approved operating procedures when accessing the track between Tampines and Pasir Ris MRT stations.
SMRT also allegedly did not ensure that the procedures practised by its employees to access the track passed safety audits, were documented and disseminated.
The two employees charged include the company's director of control operations, Teo Wee Kiat, 40.
He is accused of a similar offence under the Act .
Lim Say Heng, 47, was the other employee charged in the same court. He was the company's officer-in-charge of the work party which inspected the tracks the day of the accident.
He is alleged to have caused the deaths of Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari by a negligent act.
He allegedly failed to ensure that necessary safety measures were in place so trains did not enter the track before accessing it, leading to a train hitting the men.
The two men were part of a work party of 15 SMRT employees led by Lim to carry out inspection works on the MRT tracks.
The six signalling workers and nine track workers were on a maintenance walkway near Pasir Ris station to check a possible fault in a component. As they approached the device, the signalling team, led by a supervisor, stepped onto the track.
The supervisor narrowly avoided being hit by the oncoming train but Nasrulhudin, 25, and Muhammad Asyraf, 24, who were second and third in line, were unable to react in time.
The two men were two months into the job.
SMRT Trains faces a fine of up to $500,000.
If convicted, Lim faces a jail term of up to two years and a fine. Teo faces a fine of up to $200,000 and/or a jail term of up to two years. Lim is no longer working for the company.
In a statement on Thursday (Dec 1), the Attorney-General's Chambers said that investigations are still ongoing to determine if any other people may be liable for workplace safety lapses in connection with the tragedy.
Responding to the charge against Lim, the National Transport Workers' Union Executive Secretary Melvin Yong said the union would support him and his family and ensure that he was fairly represented.
Mr Yong said: "Whilst we cannot comment on any ongoing legal proceedings, the union maintains that it is important to allow due process to take its course and all facts to be revealed before drawing any conclusions."
A pre-trial conference is set for Dec 30.