In his first Facebook statement since the largest MRT breakdown in Singapore’s history yesterday – which saw both the North-South (NS Line) and East-West (EW Lines) services completely halted during evening rush hour – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that he is “very concerned” about the disruption.

However, he admitted that LTA and SMRT staff had not found the root cause of the power trips despite working through the night checking the trains, and warned that the problem may happen again.

Commuters yesterday were left stranded in crowded and darkened trains with no electricity or stuck in massive queues around NS EW MRT stations yesterday after a “power trip” caused the trains on both lines to shut down.

Although SMRT activated free bus transport to send commuters on their way home, many complained about the lack of instructions from SMRT staff and mindless bus drivers, who continued to force commuters to tap their EZ-Link cards on the fare card readers, effectively forcing commuters to pay for what was supposed to be their “complimentary” bus ride.

Trains resumed their services this morning and a second breakdown was avoided. However, in spite of all their checks, SMRT and LTA were still unable to provide a definite reason behind the massive MRT breakdown.

Lee’s full statement:

Am very concerned at the major disruption to train services last night. I had just recently visited the SMRT Bishan Depot, to see their maintenance operations and teams. So I went to the LTA Ops Centre this afternoon, to be briefed on the situation.

We are still trying to find out the cause of the problem. LTA and SMRT staff and engineers worked through the night checking trains, tracks and cables. Today fortunately trains ran without a glitch, so far. But because we have not identified the root cause of the power trips, we are still very worried that the problem may recur.

Hope we identify and resolve the faults quickly, to prevent further inconvenience to commuters.

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