Lightning Strikes MRT Train, Disrupting Train Service; Train Captain Injured

Looks like even the Lightning God wants to chup jit kah and tekan beleaguered Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and volunteer SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek!

An MRT train on the East-West Line was struck by lightning and stalled near Bedok station a little past 4pm today, causing about 10 minutes of delay to journey times between Tanah Merah and Paya Lebar.

Passengers had to detrain at Bedok MRT station and the train was withdrawn from service for investigation.

The train’s captain was injured and was sent to Changi General Hospital for treatment.

This is the 2nd time reported incidence of lightning striking an MRT train in 2 years.

On 11 May 2016, an SMRT train on the North-South Line was crippled by lightning just before 4pm, disrupting southbound services from Yishun to Yio Chu Kang stations.

SMRT has reassured commuters that they are safe even if the train gets struck by lightning.

This is because each train is protected by a “Faraday Cage” – an enclosure formed by conductive material that blocks electric fields and electric currents such as lightning strikes.

“The cage conducts current around the outside of the enclosed space with none passing through the interior. If lightning strikes, the electric current will travel through the outside shell of the train, not through the cabin, and pass through the wheels to the track. The train is grounded to the track.”

SMRT has been having a rough trip in recent times – last month, average rainfall resulted in Singapore’s first-ever MRT tunnel flooding, which saw train service on parts of the North-South Line derailed for 21 hours.

And just last week, the train operator saw a train crash into a stationary train at Joo Koon MRT station.


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