The crash involving two Kelana Jaya line LRT trains near the KLCC station last night was caused by the negligence of the hostler or train driver who drove an empty train in the wrong direction, says Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong.
Wee said this was based on preliminary investigations conducted by the Land Public Transport Agency.
“Preliminary findings indicate that the crash was caused by the negligence of the hostler who drove TR40, which was an empty train, in the wrong direction.
“It should have been moving south heading towards Dang Wangi station but moved north instead and caused the crash with TR81 that was carrying 213 passengers,” he said.
Wee said before the crash, at 8.21pm, TR40 was being operated by the automatic train operation (ATO) and had moved southbound from Gombak to the Subang depot, but there, it suffered a time out and stopped when it neared the Kampung Baru station platform.
“Time out occurred when the ATO failed after the vehicle on-board controller stopped. An order was issued for the hostler to drive it manually from Kampung Baru station to Dang Wangi station and it needed to move in the same direction to give way to a train from the south or in ATO mode to continue service.
“At the same time, TR81, which was operating in ATO mode, was in a static position at the KLCC station southbound platform. At 8.24pm TR81 departed from KLCC station to Kampung Baru station after receiving information that TR40 had left Kampung Baru station heading for Dang Wangi station,” he said.
However, at 8.33pm, the hostler contacted the operation control centre (OCC) saying that TR40 had crashed into a train identified as TR81, he said.
“Around 8.36pm, the OCC informed the emergency action agency and appointed a duty officer at the incident area before the police and ambulance crew arrived at the incident scene to begin rescuing the victims,” he added.
In a related development, Wee said the special investigation panel chaired by the transport ministry secretary-general would conduct the investigation with the report forwarded to the transport ministry in 14 days before being brought to the Cabinet.
Wee said losses had not yet been calculated but that clean-up work and repairs to the tracks were underway.
“If we follow the SOPs, clean-up work and repairs will take only three days and the total of losses will be estimated later,” he said.
Wee added that only one track can be used for now. If necessary, he said, Prasarana will increase service frequency, especially during peak hours.