Monday, September 10, 2007

Chaos at MRT Station

Taking the MRT today, I alighted at Tanjong Pagar MRT station and proceeded to exit A. Nearing the escalator to the exit, I realised that there was such a large crowd of disorderly passengers proceeding slowly up the stairs. For a moment, I thought that an accident or incident had occurred. I joined the queue of people walking up the stairs which seemed neverending in this slow procession and finally saw ‘daylight’ after 5 minutes- double the normal exiting time.

Coming out from the exit, I saw scores of people waiting at the exit from where the staircases led, blocking the passengers exiting from the staircases. It was raining heavily and unarmed with umbrellas, these people had no choice but to wait at the exit, thus blocking the passengers exiting from the stairs. To make matters worse, the usually upriding escalator to the exit was made downriding and the confluence of the factors due to the crowd and the escalator gave rise to the chaotic situation.

I was surprised to see no immediate action from SMRT to resolve the chaotic problem. They could either make the downriding escalator upriding or to send staff to the exit point and manage the waiting crowd.

It would even be more unthinkable if the SMRT staff did not realise this chaotic problem at all.

Given such chaotic problems could actually arise from a normal day and the fact that SMRT did not react or react promptly, it would be unimaginable if the station faces a terrorist attack!

During that situation, apart from the disastrous consequence, the disorderly crowd would become a chaotic and panicky crowd ………would SMRT have the expertise to deal with this crowd in view of today’s event?

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