SMRT Trains Managing Director Lee Ling Wee said at their press conference that the victims were part of a group of 15 maintenance staff who have been dispatched to investigate an alarm for signally equipment. They were granted track access and they were walking on the walkway alongside the track.
Lee added that when track access has been granted, maintenance staff need to request for track authorisation before they can proceed to the track to conduct their works. The staff were following safety protocol.
SMRT management revealed that it was standard procedure for maintenance staff to be on track to investigate faults even when trains are running during the day. SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek emphasized the need to find out why despite following safety protocols, 2 of the 15 maintenance staff were hit by the oncoming train.
Facts so far:
1) All 15 maintenance staff were walking in single-file, along the side of the train tracks, on the walkway.
2) They were following protocol by walking against the direction of the train.
3) The group was headed by the supervisor, and the two staff that were killed were second and third in line.
4) The group, which had received permission to go down to the tracks, had gotten to about 150m away from the Pasir Ris station platform when the incident took place.
5) The incident happened before the group could ask for permission to turn the power off on the tracks to stop the trains from moving.
6) The two staff were hit by an oncoming train, moving toward Pasir Ris, in the direction opposite to them.
7) The train in the incident was just pulling into the station, travelling at about 60km per hour.
8) There is no CCTV footage on that part of the track, and SMRT is in the process of getting detailed accounts from witnesses.