SINGAPORE: Train operator SMRT says lights and escalators at the City Hall MRT station are back to normal operations, after being hit by a power trip and blackout earlier Friday.
In its update on Twitter at about 3.30pm, SMRT said lights and escalators are working again.
Parts of the station were pitch dark, one commuter told Channel NewsAsia, after the power trip.
SMRT said the power trip started at 1.23pm, causing a blackout at the platforms serving the north and west bound trains. But all trains were running.
Air—conditioning and escalators had stopped working.
Emergency lighting was turned on immediately.
For commuter’s safety, station staff turned off the escalators leading to the affected platforms and used light sticks to guide commuters.
They also used loud hailers to alert commuters who were alighting at the station and to advise them not to be alarmed.
But not all commuters were aware of the assistance.
A commuter said: "It was totally dark. Pitch dark. Not very good for the elderly cause it’s kind of dangerous and you won’t know what will happen and then people might fall."
Also sharing similar sentiments, another commuter said: "There were no SMRT staff at the platform itself. It was only when we reached the barricade level, the ticket level, that we had one security staff making announcements that despite that the blackout, the trains were still operational."
A commuter, Mr Tan, said: "In some areas, it’s totally pitch dark — near to the toilet area, it’s totally dark... the ticketing area is still visible. I saw everyone still (moving) in an orderly manner. No one is panicking, because announcements were being made by the station masters to inform the commuters about what happened.
"I saw an MRT personnel bringing out a signboard, and on the signboard it is indicated that the station is encountering a power failure. But the MRT trains are in working condition."
About 50 staff, including the customer service team, were at the concourse and platforms to assist affected commuters.
Lighting was progressively restored from 2pm, and was back to normal at 3.15pm. All escalators have also been turned on.
SMRT has apologised for any inconvenience caused.
SMRT said that based on its preliminary assessment, the problem may have been caused by a fault with the electrical switchboard at the generator room of City Hall station. It is investigating the cause of the short circuit.
When contacted, Singapore Power said its power grid supply to the City Hall station was in order.
This incident occurred two days after a Committee of Inquiry released its report on prior train disruptions.
This included suggestions to improve SMRT’s maintenance regime.
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