31 October 2006
RAWANG: The findings on the three light rail transit (LRT) train incidents in the past three months will be made public.
The Railway Department and an independent engineer are investigating the incidents.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the Government would rely on local experts first before bringing in foreign consultants to investigate the incidents.
He said this was decided at his meeting with the department here yesterday.
On Aug 23, about 5,000 Putra LRT commuters were stranded for one hour at the Masjid Jamek station when water seeped onto the main train.
On Oct 6, the track between Gombak and Ampang was closed for 10 hours when an LRT train stalled between the Datuk Keramat and Damai stations, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
In the latest incident on Friday, a Star LRT coach overshot the track at about 7am at the Sentul Timur station stabling area, forcing the track to be closed for more than 20 minutes. Two heavy-duty cranes were used to pull it back up.
There were no passengers onboard but the incident caused part of a coach to dangle precariously 25m above ground.
Chan said he would make public the findings involving this and the other two incidents. "We will not hide anything. I am not happy that three train incidents had occurred within three months," Chan, who is also Selayang MP, told reporters after opening the Desa Kuala Garing housing project for 124 former squatter families here. "We have to investigate down to the root as to why the incidents occurred over such a short time. "We view this very seriously and if someone is found to be responsible, action will be taken according to the Railway Act 1991." Chan said he had received a preliminary report on Friday's LRT incident but had yet to look at it as he had been inspecting the Rawang-Ipoh double-tracking project.
"A thorough investigation will be conducted on the system, especially on the safety aspect. We will take into account the report's findings and suggestions when we start the LRT extension plan, which will go on as planned," he added.
Chan said people should not jump to conclusions or speculate on what caused the latest incident or blame it on the train driver or a technical error.
"The driver has been suspended pending the findings, which is standard procedure. It is not fair to speculate whether or not he was responsible," he added.
The families were relocated to the Desa Kuala Garing housing project from the Sungai Rawang riverbank to facilitate a river widening and diversion project to prevent occurrence of flash floods. The housing estate is a project by Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd. President and chief executive officer Alain Crouy was also present at yesterday's event.