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Monday, August 13, 2012


KL StarRail Sdn Bhd, the operator of KL Monorail Services,today said that the simulation training exercises under its annual Emergency Response Procedure (ERP) has allowed a smooth rescue operation at yesterday’s incident in Brickfields which saw 183 passengers stranded in a monorail train and transferred to safety in a first ever train-to-train evacuation.

“Clearly,the team benefitted from our ERP training which we conducted every year with all the relevant agencies – Fire and Rescue Department,police,hospitals,St John Ambulance and Rela.We had yesterday’s situation under control and managed to get everybody out safely including rushing three passengers requiring medical attention to HUKL swiftly … We thank God that there were no casualties and serious injuries,” said Abdul Hadi Amran,the Chief Operating Officer of KL StarRail Sdn Bhd.

Commenting on yesterday’s incident, Hadi said: “Every year,KL Monorail and our two LRT Lines of Kelana Jaya and Ampang conduct the ERPs with relevant rescue agencies in ensuring preparedness for any cases of emergencies.

“KL Monorail conducted one just three months ago with a similarscenario of train to-train evacuation and it involved all the parties that were there yesterday at the incident. Hence,we had the situation under control and a smooth rescue operation,” he added.In his statement,Hadi also defended actions taken by the driver of
the stranded monorail train; declaring that Mohd Faizal Mohd Fahmi acted with professionalism and in accordance of the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP).We are made to understand that some of the passengers were unhappy that Faizal did not open the doors to allow fresh air and declined their calls to break the window … Faizal did the right thing and acted in true professional manner.While we like to record our deepest apology for the incident,we would like to point out that all trains were checked thoroughly in the morning before being commissioned out for service.

“We have a standard but comprehensive Minimum Equipment List (MEL) check for every train before they go out. Only those that passed the full MEL check-list will be sent out to operate and provide the services,” he added.

According to Hadi,the incident occurred after the train encountered problems with its traction power resulting to malfunctioning of train’s main and auxiliary power, which then shut down the air-conditioned system in the train.Despite the problem, the driver had full communication with the Control Centre and was able to receive and disseminate information to the passengers including the forthcoming rescue operations by the Fire and Rescue personnel.

“With the air-conditioned system down, some of the passengers Brequested our driver to open the doors to allow fresh air. Following advice from the Control Centre, the driver turned down the request.This is because the train was on a curve and in slanting position.Standing at a height of no less than 30 feet, it will be very dangerous to have the doors especially with the train having almost full capacity of 183 people.Passengers could easily fall and it could be fatal.To calls for the windows to be broken, the driver was also against that request upon advice from the Control Centre.This is because in cases of broken windows,rescue operation through coupling the stranded train with another train could not take place.This is in the interest of safety as the coupling exercise could cause glasses from the broken window to fly around and could injure the passengers.Hence,after some of the passengers have broken the glass window,we have to wait for the Fire and Rescue Department to undertake the rescue operations.

Hadi also noted that Mohd Faizal is a highly experienced train driver and was a member of Malaysian Civil Defence Force and is familiar with CPR procedures.

“While we agree that conditions in the train were hot and stuffy, thedriver acted professionally to immediately activate the fresh airfan,” Hadi said,adding that immediately after the incident occurred at 1.58pm, a rescue train was sent to operate the coupling exercise and tow the stranded train to the Tun Sambathan Monorail Station,which was less than 80 meters away.

“We fully understand the decision to opt for train coupling to manage the situation taking into account the short distance between the stranded train and the Tun Sambathan Station.Unfortunately, the immediate coupling exercise could not be undertaken because the stranded train had its emergency brakes automatically on. Hence, we had to exercise other options.But, by then,somebody had already broken the window.With fire engines from Hang Tuah, Taman Desa, Pantai and Sri Hartamas fire stations,the fire and rescue personnel started their first phase of rescue by using ladders and skylifts to bring down 63 passengers to ease the overcrowding in the train.After the 63 passengers were safely brought down, power was immediately re-installed to allow us to send in another rescue train and perform train to-train evacuation, which is something that our personnel have been trained through various simulation exercises.

“Since we assumed operations in December 2003, this is the first case of train-to-train evacuation that we have actually undertaken; though our team and partners are very familiar with it through our simulation exercises and the ERP,” Hadi said.

On the need to break the windows for fresh air in case of emergencies, Hadi said that it would be a thing of the past when the new sets of four-car trains come into operations.

“The new trains will have upper openable windows and emergency ventilation at the roof as well. The first sets of the new four-car trains will be delivered to us at the end of the year. Apart from these facilities, it will also have a larger capacity … hopefully,it could put an end to our main problem of over-capacity in our monorail trains,” he added.

The current two-car trains are inherited by KL StarRail Sdn Bhd after it took over the operations from the previous operator, KL Monorail Systems Sdn Bhd.For more details,contact Prasarana Media Affairs Manager Azhar Ghazali at 019-3837865
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