SINGAPORE: Two videos from Ang Mo Kio MRT station’s CCTV cameras were shown in court on the third day of the lawsuit filed by the father of a Thai teenager who lost both legs in a MRT accident.
16—year—old Ms Nitcharee Pen—Eakchanasak is seeking compensation from rail operator SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
In the videos, which were filmed at slightly different angles, Ms Nitcharee was seen standing among a crowd of about 25 people.
The upper half of her body appeared to lean forward and she fell forward. Her torso flipped over the edge of the platform, bringing her legs up into the air — before she landed on the tracks.
About six seconds later, the train pulled into the station and ran over her legs.
Expert witness for the plaintiff, civil engineer Professor Natarajan Krishnamurthy, who was on the stand for a second day, said that while footage showed that there were about three layers of people standing behind Ms Nitcharee that day, there did not appear to have been any physical contact between her and the other passengers.
He also said there did not appear to be a surge of people moving forward at the sight of the approaching train.
He had watched the videos while preparing his evaluation on the safety aspects at the Ang Mo Kio station.
Ms Nitcharee maintained that she had been waiting behind the yellow line on the platform when she fell, and that SMRT and LTA had not taken enough measures to prevent the injuries she sustained when she fell, thereby breaching the duty of care on their premises.
But in the video footage, the position of her legs were blocked from view, and defence lawyer K Anparasan suggested that she could have taken a step forward or that her feet could have been on or over the yellow line.
Prof Krishnamurthy argued however, that it is possible to give a probable location of where Ms Nitcharee’s feet were positioned — by tracing what can be seen of the yellow line in the video to where she is standing, and by tracing the curve of her body as she fell.
Based on those factors, he said he was "quite sure" that Ms Nitcharee was standing behind the yellow line at the time.
He added that the fact that both her legs came up at the same time when she fell, and the suddenness of her fall indicated that she had not taken a step forward.
Prof Krishnamurthy said earlier that while the distance between safety lines and platform edges at MRT stations here exceed those in other countries, service providers must provide for worst—case scenarios to the best possible extent.
They must also anticipate potential problems and prevent them from happening.
At a number of times during the day’s proceedings, Mr Anparasan questioned Prof Krishnamurthy’s credibility as an expert on transport safety.
He said that Prof Krishnamurthy’s expertise lies generally in the construction industry.
He also made reference to a another case where Prof Krishnamurthy was called as an expert witness and the judge in that case was not satisfied with his expert report.
But Prof Krishnamurthy argued that he has published a book, as well as given talks, on risk management.
Ms Nitcharee, who gave her testimony on Monday, has flown home to Thailand.
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