Smoke at Ang Mo Kio MRT due to overheating – SMRT

Black smoke was seen rising from the escalators leading to the linkway between Ang Mo Kio MRT and AMK Hub yesterday afternoon at around 1.30pm (5 Feb).

Videos of the incident have been circulating on social media platforms, and at least 3 SCDF firetrucks were seen on the scene.

Eyewitnesses have stated that there was a ‘pungent smell’ coming from the escalators

The linkway was cordoned off from the public from around 2 – 6pm.

Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel were also seen escorting some people who were affected by the incident out of the MRT station.

SCDF SMRT
SCDF escorting person who was feeling giddy due to smoke inhalation. Source

SCDF have stated that one person was taken to SGH for smoke inhalation at around 3pm yesterday (5 Feb).

The linkway was reopened at around 6pm, but none of the escalators were operational.

‘Overheated Bearings’

SMRT technicians were on-site immediately following reports of smoke coming from the escalators were made known.

The faulty escalators were checked by SMRT technicians on-site. Source

They concluded that the black smoke could have came from overheated motor bearings in the escalator.

The bearings have since been replaced, but SMRT will be conducting further checks before attempting to run the escalators again.

Train services on the NS line are not affected.

Poor maintenance of escalator services

Since SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek mentioned ‘cultural issues’ that were deeply-rooted in SMRT staff personnel, some revelations regarding the staff’s work ethic have come to light.

Back in 2004, an ex-SMRT engineer sent in a resignation letter, citing that he ‘could not in good conscience continue to work on EPL (Escalators, Platform screen doors & Lifts)’ as he ‘feared if current working practices continue, a serious incident may happen in the future, and [he had] no desire to be a party of’.

The full letter can be read here.

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