SINGAPORE: In the afternoon of Monday 15th August, smoke was seen emanating from a train at the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, causing panic among passengers.
According to SMRT operator, the smoke was as a result of gas leak from the train’s air-conditioning system.
Jeremy Tan, a passenger who witnessed the incident, told Channel NewsAsia that the train was headed to Joo Koon, but when it reach reached Tanjong Pagar, located near International Plaza, its cabin was filled with thick odourless smoke, so the passengers rushed out.
The 25-year old witness was travelling to Clementi. He added that the station staff told passengers that the smoke was a result of track fault, though the staff had efficiently contained the problem and every passenger was safe.
A female traveller, who wanted her name withheld, confirmed Jeremy’s account of events saying that huge smoke plumes were coming out of the train when it pulled at Tanjong Pagar Station. And when the doors opened, the station was quickly filled with the smoke as commuters came off the train.
She said the police in the train escorted the passengers out of the train. The smoke lingered after the train had been towed out of the platform. The next train came, and everyone boarded, though smoke could still be seen in the next few stops.
While the second witness added that passengers were blocked from taking pictures or videos of the incident, social media had multiple images and videos from the scene. On Twitter, @tiramishi reported to Channel NewsAsia that smoke that smelled like fuel had spread to half of the station.
SMRT has however denied the claims that the smoke had any odour and its staff had the ventilation system on the tunnel immediately switched on to disperse the gas.
In its press release at 1453 hrs, SMRT said that all the passengers were safely evacuated from the westbound train as a safety measure after the train experienced Freon gas leak from its conditioning system. It said the leakage spread through the train tunnel and reduced visibility in some parts of the station. The train has since been withdrawn to have its air-conditioning checked at Ulu Pandan Depot.
The Singapore Police Force reported that though no injuries sustained in the incident, it is looking into the matter.
Channel NewsAsia arrived at the station at about 4 pm. The Singapore Civil Defence Force officers had already reached the scene and the door on the westbound platform had been cordoned off.