BY FENG ZENGKUN, Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Train operator SMRT has defended its staff’s actions on Tuesday when the Lakeside MRT station platform on the East West Line was overcrowded due to train delays.

A commuter had taken a video of people pouring onto the packed platform and jostling others when they came up on the escalator. The commuter said announcements had been made about train delays on the line but claimed SMRT ground staff did not tell people to stop using the escalator.

When asked, SMRT vice president of corporate information and communications Patrick Nathan said staff at Lakeside were deployed to stop commuters from using the escalator, and they also helped to disperse and manage people at the platform.

“While the video shows that there was bunching up of commuters at the top of the escalator, it also shows station staff stopping more commuters from getting onto the escalator, and the escalator was stopped shortly after,” he said.

He added that four of the six fare gates leading into the station were closed to reduce the flow of commuters into the station.

“Our station staff are trained to manage crowding at platforms and have commuters’ safety as their top priority,” he said.

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