SMRT re­places se­nior exec af­ter tun­nel flood


He was VP of main­te­nance when faulty pump sys­tem failed to re­move wa­ter

SMRT has re­placed a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive in charge of main­te­nance and sys­tems af­ter last Satur­day’s flood­ing of a tun­nel on the North-South Line (NSL).

The rail op­er­a­tor told its staff in an in­ter­nal cir­cu­lar yes­ter­day that Mr Siu Yow Wee has been ap­pointed di­rec­tor of build­ing and ser­vices, tak­ing over from Mr Ng Tek Poo, vice-pres­i­dent of main­te­nance.

Mr Siu will man­age the en­tire build­ing and ser­vices di­vi­sion and re­port to the se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent of main­te­nance and en­gi­neer­ing, the cir­cu­lar said.

The Straits Times un­der­stands that Mr Ng has been re­de­ployed to another role.

In the in­ci­dent, which ren­dered a large stretch of the NSL in­op­er­a­ble for about 20 hours, rain wa­ter en­tered the tun­nel at Bis­han where the tracks go un­der­ground.

Pumps in­stalled to re­move wa­ter from the tun­nels in such sit­u­a­tions did not kick in be­cause a float switch was ap­par­ently stuck. The un­der­ground tracks were sub­merged in wa­ter at waist level at its deep­est.

At least one train was stranded in the tun­nel. For­tu­nately, pas­sen­gers man­aged to dis­em­bark at Bis­han be­fore the train stalled.

On the same day, a fire broke out in the tun­nel be­tween Marina Bay and Raf­fles Place sta­tions. Al­though the cause has not been as­cer­tained, past tun­nel fires have been traced to short cir­cuits caused by wa­ter.

Asked to com­ment, SMRT vice-pres­i­dent for cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions Patrick Nathan said: “We do not com­ment on staff mat­ters. We are strength­en­ing our build­ing and fa­cil­i­ties team in the light of last week­end’s dis­rup­tion.”

Mr Ng was a key wit­ness at a pub­lic in­quiry fol­low­ing two ma­jor rail dis­rup­tions in De-

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