What happen? – Monorail Traction Malfunction
StarRail KL Sdn Bhd, KL Monorail service providers, today said the simulation exercise held annually under the ‘Emergency Response Procedure (ERP) has helped to assist the smooth rescue incident in Brickfields yesterday, which witnessed a total of 183 passengers trapped in a monorail train and transferred safely to another train, which is the first in history and never been done before in Malaysia.
“Obviously, our team benefited from the ERP training programs we do each year with the relevant agencies – the Fire and Rescue Department, police, hospitals, St John Ambulance and REAL.
“We managed to solve the incident yesterday in an orderly manner and managed to bring all the passengers out safely, including three passengers who needed to seek treatment immediately to HKL … We thank God because there was no serious injury,” said Abdul Hadi Amran, Chief Operating Officer KL StarRail Co. Bhd.
Commenting on the incident yesterday, Hadi said: “Every year, the KL Monorail and both LRT Kelana Jaya and Ampang implement the ERP program with rescue agencies concerned to ensure readiness in case of emergency.
“KL Monorail’s last ERP exercise was successfully conducted in the space of last three months and covers multiple rescue scenarios and one of it was same to what we experienced yesterday. Therefore, on the situation yesterday was in a controlled environment and the rescue operations went well, “he added.
In fact, Hadi also defended the action of the stranded train driver; stressed that Mohd Faizal Mohd Fahmi had acted with professional and according to PRASARANA’s Standard Operation Procedure (SOP).
“We understand that some passengers are not satisfied with Mohd Faizal, who declined to open the train doors to let fresh air and also refused their requests for the windows to be broken … for me he had made the right decision and acted with the utmost professionalism expected.
“While we would like to apologize for the incident, we would like to clarify here that all the trains were inspected comprehensively before being allowed out for the operation.
“We have a Minimum Equipment List check list (MEL), which is a comprehensive standard list on all trains before they leave. Only trains that passed the full list of this examination will be permitted to operate, “he added.
According to Hadi, the incident happened when the train was facing problems in its traction power, which in turn causes the main power and backup power in the train did not work; which resulted in the shutdown of the air conditioning system in the train.
Despite a incident, the train drivers were in full communication with the Control Center and can is able receive and distribute information to all affected passengers, including rescue operations from the Fire and Rescue team that were arriving on site.
“When the air conditioning system does not work, there is a passenger who asked our driver to open the door to allow air to ventilate the area. By direction of the Control Center, our driver turned down the request.
“This is because the train was in the corner and in an inclined state. Positioned at a height of not less than 30 feet, it is dangerous for the door to be opened, especially with the train at that time were loaded with 183 passengers. There was a possibility the passengers could have fall and may cause death.
“To demand that the windows broken, our driver did not agree because, according to advice from the Control Center. This is because if there are windows broken, the rescue operation using the ‘coupling’ method could not be executed.
“This is for the safety of passengers, the safety method used to rescue the passengers is called ‘coupling’. This could not be done if there were broken glasses from the train windows as this will fly and may cause injury to passengers. Because there were already windows broken, we had to wait for the Fire and Rescue team to carry out rescue operations, “said Hadi.
Hadi also said that Mohd Faizal is an experienced train driver and had been at the Malaysia Civil Defence team. He is fluent in CPR procedures.
“While the temperature in the train was hot and crowded, we also acted professionally where the driver had quickly installed an air fan,” Hadi said, adding that after the incident occurred at 1:58 pm, a rescue train was send for ‘coupling’ and towed the affected train to the Tun Sambathan station which was less than 80 meters away from the scene.
“We fully understand the decision to do the ‘coupling’ to manage the situation by taking into account the distance between the stranded train to the nearest station.
“Unfortunately, the towing could not be done because the stranded train had an emergency brake automatically installed. Therefore, we need to use other means and then some people started breaking the windows, “he said.
A Fire ladder was used and was sky lifted to bring down the first 63 people to reduce the number of passengers in the train. After that, the electricity was turned on again and rescue train sent to move the remaining 120 other passengers.
“Since we acquired the Monorail operations in December 2003, this is the first case the transfer of passengers from train to train was done. However, although this was the first time, all members on duty had done their job with utmost professionalism to ensure the safety of all passengers and implemented what had been learned during the simulation exercise and ERPs” said Hadi.
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PRASARANA Media Affairs Manager