KUALA LUMPUR: A head-on collision involving two LRT trains between Kampung Baru and KLCC here occurred last night, leaving 213 people injured, 47 of them seriously.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the authorities have launched an investigation into the accident that took place underground at 8.45pm.
Dr Wee, who immediately rushed to the scene of the incident, said the injured passengers were rushed to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for treatment.
“Further investigations on the cause of the accident will commence immediately, ” Dr Wee told a press conference at Avenue K, one of the exits to the KLCC LRT station of the Kelana Jaya line.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Mohamad Zainal Abdullah said that 47 individuals suffered serious injuries and 166 were lightly injured.
In a Facebook post last night, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also said a thorough probe will be conducted by the authorities.
“I view this accident seriously and I have ordered the Transport Ministry and Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to conduct thorough investigations in order to ascertain the cause of this accident, and stern action will be taken immediately, ” he said.
“The priority now must be given to the victims of the accident and I have ordered all sides to give full cooperation in order to ensure that victims get a comprehensive treatment, since we are also facing a worsening Covid-19 pandemic, ” he added.
It is understood that one of the trains involved in the collision was not under passenger service, and was being manually driven, though the Kelana Jaya line runs on a fully-automated mode under normal passenger service.
On social media, several pictures and videos of the incident quickly went viral, with some depicting persons bleeding profusely, while others were seen lying on the train floor.
There was broken glass strewn across the floor with many passengers appearing disorientated.
The difficulty in extracting the injured from this rare incident stems from the fact that they had to be manually stretchered out, or walk out on their own, from the mangled trains to the nearest underground station.
According to the Fire and Rescue Department spokesman, care has to be taken to ensure the electricity supply on the track is cut off before rescuers could access the wreckage, while injured passengers have to struggle to walk through the uneven surface and tight confines of the tunnel.
The Kelana Jaya line was the first fully automated metro line in Malaysia when it opened in 1998.
With 37 stations, the Kelana Jaya line is the busiest metro line in Malaysia, moving nearly 300,000 passengers on an average working day before Covid-19 landed here.
The arrival of the pandemic easily wiped out ridership by around 40% of this line that is known to carry up to 350,000 passengers a day during national events.
Construction of this line began in 1994, about the same time as construction of the Ampang LRT Line.
Phase One of operations commenced on Sept 1,1998, between Lembah Subang Depot (next to the Lembah Subang station) and Pasar Seni, while Phase Two from Pasar Seni to Gombak took place on June 1,1999.
In early 2010, the Kelana Jaya line underwent a 17km extension under the LRT extension programme.
By 2016,13 new stations had been added to the line, which is now connected to the Seri Petaling line at Putra Heights, bringing the total number of stations to 37.
The line is also the first metro line in Malaysia to have underground stations: at Masjid Jamek, Dang Wangi, Kampung Baru, KLCC and Ampang Park.