Guard absent from post, blamed for KK train accident

KOTA KINABALU: Human error is being blamed for Thursday's (Aug 18) train accident as the guard at the Jalan Lintas -Kepayan level crossing was absent from his post to lower the boom and sound the warning siren for motorists.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said that initial investigations by the state Railway Department indicated that the guard was not present and as such failed to lower the boom and the siren was not sounded to warn motorists.

"The state Railway Department is still investigating the accident and efforts are also underway immediately to ensure that such incidents do not recur," Bung, who is state Works Minister.

The state Works Ministry oversees railways in the state.

He also said the department was also ordered to ensure that the "line clear order" was disseminated clearly to all level crossing guards and that they would be at their posts when on duty.

Another measure to be taken, Bung said, was to install CCTV on all its trains to record movements of the train and also monitor if the level crossing guards were present at their respective stations.

He has also ordered the department to monitor and regulate their standard operating procedures to ensure such accidents did not recur in the future.

The accident, which involved a passenger train with 70 people onboard and two vehicles, occurred at the Jalan Lintas - Kepayan level crossing at about 2.40pm Thursday (Aug 18).

No one was hurt including the drivers of a four-wheel drive and a lorry involved in the mishap.

The train was delayed by about an hour when it left Beaufort for Kota Kinabalu station.

"When it arrived at Kinarut station, the line clear order to continue was given to the train driver by the station master to continue its journey to Kota Kinabalu after it was confirmed that all guards were at their posts," Bung said.

However, Bung added that as the train approached the Lintas-Kepayan level crossing, the guard was not in his post to lower the boom or sound the siren to warn motorists.

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