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SMRT trains collide at Joo Koon station, 25 injured

Staff from SMRT speak to a passenger at the Joo Koon train station where two trains collided in Singapore yesterday. – AFP

- Picture by Low Youjin/TODAY SINGAPORE, Nov 16 - The collision between two trains at Joo KoonT station yesterday morning (Nov 15) that left 29 injured was caused by a software problem, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.

Local media Lianhe Zaobao quoted Singapore Civil Defence Force sources as saying that the 23 injured passengers were sent to hospitals, and majority sustained minor injuries.

The collision had occurred when a train passed a faulty circuit as it was transitioning between the two signalling systems. "Given this finding, the Land Transport Authority and (train operator) SMRT have chose to isolate for up to one month the operations of the Tuas West Extension, which runs on the new signalling system, from the rest of the East-West Line, which runs on the old signalling system". LTA and SMRT have also said they will continue to investigate the incident together with Thales.

6 of patients were walk-in cases - 1 of these 6 individuals sought treatment at NUH while the others were admitted at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. There are five stops to the Tuas Link station from the Joo Koon station.

Operations were affected at threeT stations: Clementi, Buona Vista and Commonwealth and services resumed within a day after intensive checks by theT Corporation engineers.

Meanwhile, commuters recalled the chaos of being thrown to the floor and confusion when the two trains hit each other.

He said most of the passengers including him were thrown to the floor but he was unhurt.

Robu said the train remained at the same position for 20 minutes.

Commuters alighting at Joo Koon station were also asked by SMRT staff not to take photos of the accident scene.

Robu said that the SMRT staff later instructed passengers to evacuate from the driver's coach and all of them did so one at a time.

Trains continued to run in both directions on the unaffected side of the station platform, with SMRT announcing that commuters should expect 10 minutes of extra travelling time between Joo Koon and Tuas Link stations.

"And we fell on our backs because of the fall".

Ong said some passengers hit themselves against railings in the train. The accident injured 156 commuters. "The driver said on the speaker system that help was on the way", said Ong.

"A while later, as I was in the first cabin, we heard some passengers knocking on the driver's door to tell the driver (that) there was someone injured".