Penang train passengers stranded for 2 hours

GEORGE TOWN - Power failure caused the Penang Hill funicular train service here to stop for two hours yesterday, causing hundreds of visitors, including a man in his 60s believed to have suffered a heart attack, to be stranded.

A woman in her 30s also collapsed in the 6.30pm incident.

Fortunately, both passengers survived and the rest were safely brought down to the lower station after power resumed at 8.30pm.

Firemen and paramedics rushed the two passengers to Penang Hospital, where they are reported to be in stable condition.

Norazian Osman, 53, from Kuala Kangsar, Perak, said many of the passengers were scared when the train stopped and became pitch dark.

"The air-conditioning system stopped and the train got stuffy. Many of us tried to stay calm, but help was slow to arrive."

Ah Hua, 60, from Medan, Indonesia, described the experience as harrowing and vowed to not use the funicular train any more.

"That was my first and last time. I have heard about frequent service breakdowns in the past.

"But, I never expected it to happen to me."

Penang Hill Corporation workers kept mum on the incident.

It is learnt that the workers had traced the source of the power outage on time to fix the power generator.

The funicular train service, popular among tourists, has a history of breakdowns.

The last disruption in service happened twice within a week in November last year because of a technical glitch and power failure.