LRT crash: Critical train operation SOP not adhered to, investigation committee finds

PUTRAJAYA: Certain critical train operation standard operating procedures (SOP) were not adhered to, leading to the LRT collision incident in Kuala Lumpur on May 24.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the error resulted in one train in the collision heading in the wrong direction.

This is among the findings of the nine-member investigation committee on the LRT collision, he said in a press conference on Thursday (June 10).

The findings of the committee, led by Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak, were presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday (June 9).

In the 8.45pm incident, 213 passengers were injured, 47 of them seriously, following the collision of two LRT trains on the Kelana Jaya line, which occurred in a tunnel between the KLCC and Kampung Baru stations.

The crash involved one train carrying passengers and another train, which was being test-driven following a fault, carrying only a driver.

Dr Wee explained that the test-driven train, labelled as Train 40, had experienced technical difficulties when both of its vehicle onboard communication (VOBC) systems had stopped.

Train 40 was then supposed to be brought to Lembah Subang depot for maintenance.

However, it lost communication with the operations control centre and stopped between the KLCC and Kampung Baru LRT stations.

A hostler, or driver, was called to manually drive Train 40 to the Dang Wangi station in order to reset the trains’ two VOBCs.

“During the process of resetting both VOBCs and driving the Train 40 manually to the re-enter point, both the hostler and the train controller at the operation centre had overlooked and missed critical procedures during this process.

“This inadvertently resulted in Train 40 being manually moved towards KLCC station, instead of southbound towards Dang Wangi station, ” said Dr Wee.

At the same time, another train – referred to as Train 81 – was at the KLCC LRT station and had passengers on board.

Train 81, however, departed prematurely before Train 40 had completed its job, resulting in the collision between KLCC and Kampung Baru.

“There has to be communication to ensure that the hostler on Train 40 had completed its job.

“Train 81 should not be released from KLCC while there is another train in the tunnel.

“Because there was no strict compliance to SOPs, this resulted in the collision between Train 40 and Train 81, ” said Dr Wee.