'It was painful & scary'

'It was painful & scary'
MIND THE GAP: A woman was leaving an MRT train carriage with her wheelchair-bound mother when her right leg was caught between the train and platform. She suffered minor abrasions and bruising.
PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

She was walking out of the MRT train backwards and pulling her wheelchair-bound mother along when her right leg slipped into the gap between the platform and train.

The incident happened at about 2.05pm at Chinatown MRT station on Wednesday.

A witness, Miss Ouyang, 37, told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that the incident caused panic among commuters, several of whom held their hands against the train doors to stop them from shutting.

"I quickly spoke to the train personnel through the passenger intercom to stop the train from moving," said Miss Ouyang, a public servant.

Several passengers also tried to free the woman using soap and moisturiser.

But they failed to get her leg out.

The passenger, identified only as Madam Wang, 45, later said: "It was painful and scary. I was worried that the people helping me would pull my leg with too much force and break it. I started to cry."

She was returning home from the doctor's with her 70-year-old mother.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the incident at 2.05pm and dispatched a fire engine, a Red Rhino and an ambulance to the scene.

Officers used hydraulic rescue tools to free the woman, who suffered minor abrasions and bruising.

She refused to go to hospital for medical treatment, said SCDF.

The incident prompted one commuter to post photos of what happened on Sina Weibo, advising commuters to take alternative train routes. The commuter later also praised the SCDF personnel for their quick work.

Ms Tammy Tan, senior vice-president, corporate communications of SBS Transit, which runs the North-East Line (NEL) said the SCDF was called in after attempts by station staff to extricate Madam Wang failed.

Coupled with a train fault that happened after this incident, there was a combined delay of about 30 minutes on the NEL in all, she said.

IN PAIN

Public announcements were made to inform commuters of the delay, she said.

Ms Tan added that free bus rides between Outram Park and Dhoby Ghaut stations were available during the disruption.

Madam Wang was quoted as saying after the incident that she was still in pain, though it was "tolerable".

"I just need to send my mother home now," she said.

Last December, a man in his 50s had his right leg wedged between the train and platform at Bugis MRT station. SMRT staff freed the man using soap, said a commuter.

Similarly in May last year, train service on the North-East Line was delayed for about half an hour after a woman's leg got stuck in the gap.

The woman had lost her balance after she was allegedly pushed while standing near the door of the train at Boon Keng station.

krystalc@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Feb 5, 2016.
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