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Saturday October 28, 2006

Train overshoots LRT terminal and is left dangling


KUALA LUMPUR: A light rail transit train overshot the end of its tracks and ended up dangling about 25m above the ground near the Sentul Timur station here. 

The train, belonging to the Ampang Line (formerly known as Star-LRT) was empty save for the driver when the incident occurred at 7.11am yesterday. 

Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (Rapid KL), the operator of the system, said in a statement that the train had stopped at Sentul Timur station where all the passengers alighted. 

The train, which had started operations at Ampang station at 6.40am, then proceeded to the stabling area between the station and the end of the line. 

DANGLING DANGER: A coach of the Rapid KL Ampang LRT line dangling 25m above the ground after the train overshot the end of the track at the Sentul Timur station in Kuala Lumpur on Friday morning. There was only a driver on board when the accident occurred at 7.11am. The station was closed for 20 minutes but train services were not affected. — STARpic by ABDUL RAHMAN SENIN
However, the train overshot the end of the tracks, crashed into the buffer stop and parapet wall of the elevated concrete guideway and ended up with the front half of its first coach hanging precariously in the air. 

The train had six coaches. 

Rapid KL corporate communications division senior manager Katherine Chew confirmed that there were no passengers on board and said the driver was not hurt. 

“The cause of the accident is not yet known but Rapid KL is conducting a full investigation into the incident,” she said. 

The incident did not disrupt train services except at the Sentul Timur station which was closed for about 20 minutes following the incident. 

A resident at a block of flats opposite the station said he was sleeping at home when he heard a loud, grinding sound.  

The man, who only wanted to be identified as Naren, said the sound was caused by the train crashing into a metal buffer, causing it to fall onto the ground. 

A TNB worker close to the scene said it was fortunate that the train did not fall off completely because there was an electricity substation underneath the stabling area. 

“If it had struck the substation, it would probably have exploded,” he said. 

When contacted by Bernama, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said he had directed Rapid KL to submit a comprehensive report on the matter to him. 

“I want them to submit a report to me. It has to be specific, identifying the cause of the incident and who is to be blamed,” he said. 

“Thank God there were no injuries and the system was not disrupted.”  

Yesterday’s incident was the latest in a spate of problems affecting Kuala Lumpur's LRT system.  

A computer glitch on July 24 caused trains on the Kelana Jaya Line, formerly Putra-LRT, to stall.  

About a month later, services were disrupted due to flooding at the unused Seri Rampai station on the Kelana Jaya Line.  

On Oct 6, services between Masjid Jamek and Terminal Putra, also on the Kelana Jaya line, were disrupted for 10 hours when a train stalled near Damai station.  

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