Singapore: Freon gas leak at Tanjong Pagar MRT station forced passengers to abandon SMRT train

SMRT trains
A MRT train travels along a track in a neighbourhood in Singapore February 28, 2010. Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system consists of 90 km (56 miles) of railways stretching over 50 stations and serving around a million passengers daily, according to the company's website. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez (SINGAPORE - Tags: TRANSPORT CITYSCAPE IMAGES OF THE DAY) Reuters

A freon gas leak at the Tanjong Pagar MRT station on Thursday morning, June 7 forced the daily passengers of Singapore to alight. The commuters became confused after they saw the white smoke on the platform but cooperated with the staff during this inconvenience.

SMRT, which is responsible to run the East-West Line said that the staff immediately started working on the issue and found that the smoke appeared from beneath a train, which was standing at Tanjong Pagar MRT station at around 9.45 am.

As per Star Online, after the primary investigation by the staff of SMRT, they came to know that the reason behind the appearance of the smoke was a leaked air-conditioning compressor of that train.

However, the Vice President of corporate communications, Margaret Teo said that to make sure that all the passengers on board were safe, the officials asked everyone to abandon the affected train, which was withdrawn from service for further checks and the passengers were advised to board the next one.

Reports stated that Roland Yeo an account manager said that at the time of that incident the smoke engulfed the platform and the source of the gas appeared to be from the rear of the affected train, which he was riding.

A 41-year-old commuter, who was going to the Raffles Place said that after the smoke started to appear at the station, the staff asked the passengers to alight, including him but did not explain the reason behind such inconvenience. He added that even though there was no official announcement at that time when his fellow passengers saw that smoke, they cooperated with staff.

He also said that instead of panicking and reaction to the incident, all the passengers were calm and did not cause any chaos at the station. In addition, the man said commuters did not have to wait for a long, as the next train, which they were supposed to board came just a few minutes later.

This is not the first case of a gas leak from a train, as earlier several similar incidents took place. In March 2018, a sudden a freon gas leak incident happened at Jurong East station. Prior to that, in October 2017, in a written document by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan showed that there were 23 incidents of such leaks on trains happened in past decade.

In the same year, a freon gas leak incident occurred at the Raffles Place station platform, in August 2016, people faced the same issue at Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

However, the Freon is a common gas, which is usually used in the air conditioners. It is a non-toxic gas but the excessive exposure to the gas can cut off the oxygen to the cells and lungs, especially if a person directly inhaled it.