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Escalator at Clementi MRT station found to be safe after 3 fell while using it

Three people were injured after they fell while riding an escalator at Clementi MRT station on Thursday.

A Building and Construction Authority (BCA) spokesperson said its engineers inspected the escalator and checks did not reveal any “equipment abnormalities”. It was responding to claims of a reversal in the escalator’s direction.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident did not show the escalator had reversed its direction, it added.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it was alerted to the incident at 3150 Commonwealth Avenue West at about 9.30am and three people were taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

Two of the injured commuters are the parents of Ms Michelle Ng, 50.

Speaking to The Straits Times, Ms Ng said her 79-year-old father and 77-year-old mother are “spry” and do not need mobility aids.

They told her that while taking the escalator up to the train station, an elderly man a few steps in front of them fell backwards suddenly.

Her father bent down and tried to help the man, but he straightened up when he “detected movement” on the escalator.

The man then started sliding down, and her parents fell as well, she added.

“(My mother) could not tell me more about her fall and what happened because she said the next thing she knew, all three old folks were on the escalator landing,” Ms Ng said, adding she found out about the incident at around 3.30pm when her father texted her.

She said her father had cuts, abrasions and bruises on his head, back, arms and legs, while her mother had a dislocated elbow, fractured wrist, as well as bruises and cuts on her hips, arms and forehead.

Her father was discharged on Thursday but visited the emergency department on Saturday evening because his bruises worsened, and he felt light-headed.

In response to queries from ST, SMRT Trains president Lam Sheau Kai said staff at the station were alerted to the incident at about 10am on Thursday.

“A commuter lost his balance and fell onto two other commuters behind him. Our station staff quickly went on-site and assisted,” he said, adding that first aid was provided.

“Our care team has reached out to the commuters and are in contact with them to render assistance.”

Mr Lam said the escalator was immediately cordoned off for checks.

He added that SMRT’s escalator maintenance contractor conducted a thorough check and confirmed there was no fault on the escalator, after which it was put back in service.

Ms Michelle Ng’s father had cuts, abrasions and bruises on his head, back, arms and legs.PHOTOS: MICHELLE NG
 

Mr Lam urged commuters to hold on to handrails while on the escalator.

“We also encourage commuters, especially the elderly, wheelchair users, commuters with mobility issues and those travelling with babies in prams, to use the lift for their own safety.”

A BCA spokesperson said its engineers reviewed the CCTV footage of the incident and did not observe any form of escalator reversal or equipment anomalies.

“The other passengers who were on the same escalator at the same time were observed to have completed the ride without any difficulties,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that BCA requires an anti-reversal device to be installed in all escalators in public transport areas.

It is a safety feature that protects against accidental reversing of an escalator operating in the upward direction. When activated, this device switches off the motor and activates the brake, bringing the escalator to a smooth stop.

SMRT’s Mr Lam confirmed the escalator involved in the incident was installed with an anti-reversal device.

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