The LTA spokesman added: "LTA and SMRT will closely monitor the two stretches of viaduct in the next few days, and if there is a need, SMRT will adjust the train speeds at these locations to minimise the risk of such a recurrence."

Clementi resident Daryl Fu, 30, a technician, said: "Nobody would think that something like that could happen. The authorities should make sure the MRT is safe to operate."

Alarmed

Another Clementi resident, Miss Nikki Norashikin, 21, a polytechnic student, was alarmed when told a metal piece had been found under the MRT track near a pedestrian crossing.

She was about to use the pedestrian crossing about half an hour after the rail clip was removed.

Said Miss Nikki: "I always take it for granted that it is safe to walk under the MRT track.

"There could be pieces of the track falling off elsewhere. You won't know where the pieces might come off. I think I will run across quickly when I am passing under the track."

Associate Professor Chin Hoong Chor, director for the Safety Studies Initiative at the National University of Singapore, said the public need not be alarmed by the two incidents.

Asked if the incidents were a sign of worse things to come, he said: "It does not mean the track is falling apart. In any system, there is redundancy, which means when one component fails, it doesn't mean there is system failure."

It is still safe to take the MRT, he said.

Asked to comment on the incident, Mr Cedric Foo, head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, replied via e-mail: "Safety is paramount. Again, the PTO (public transport operator) needs to get to the root of the problem immediately.

"They need to fix it, then communicate to the public what's being done."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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