Commuters Climb 12-Storey Escape Shaft & Navigate MRT Tunnels In SBS Transit Public Emergency Exercise

SBS Transit Holds Public Emergency Exercise On 13 May

No matter how efficient our transport systems are, it’s still important to have contingency plans for when things go south.

Early on Saturday (13 May), SBS Transit held its second public emergency preparedness exercise that featured a detrainment and escape shaft experience.

During the exercise, Nan Hua High School students and members of the media were left ‘stranded’ in a train tunnel.

In order to exit to the street level, they had to climb a 12-storey escape shaft.

SBS Transit holds public emergency exercise at Outram Park MRT Station

On Saturday (13 May), SBS Transit held its second public emergency preparedness exercise in a train tunnel.

Unlike its previous emergency exercise at Promenade MRT Station, the drill on Saturday (12 May) was held at Outram Park MRT Station.

The exercise happened after hours when train services on the North-East Line ended for the day.

Upon the commencement of the exercise, students from Nan Hua High School and members of the media were ushered into an empty train.

The driverless train travelled for about 50 metres before coming to a halt.

Following which, the lights that once illuminated the cabins suddenly powered off.

Silence filled the cabins as the humming from the air-conditioning also stopped, and the packed cabin became stuffy in no time.

An announcement informed passengers of the emergency and instructed passengers to proceed in a single file.

At the front of the train, an SBS Transit staff demonstrated how to operate the emergency door.

The train’s ‘viewing platform’ then opened up and transformed into a drawbridge of sorts, allowing passengers onto the train tracks.

Climbed 12-storey exit shaft to ground level

With the safe passage, passengers streamed onto the train tracks in an orderly fashion.

They were then told to walk for about 50 metres towards the entrance of an escape shaft nearby.

However, this was just the start of the end, as passengers now had to overcome the tall task of climbing the 12-storey escape shaft — comparable to the height of some HDB flats.

The escape shaft had an industrial look and feel, with electronic boards and wires lining the wall. The lighting was also somewhat lacking.

However, the escape shaft was fairly well-ventilated, especially considering that it was 12 floors below ground.

After the physical ordeal, passengers emerged from a set of double doors between Outram Park and Harbourfront MRT Stations.

An SBS Transit staff then did a headcount of the individuals present before proceeding with the concluding brief, marking the end of the emergency exercise.

Second public emergency exercise this year involving students

The recent exercise was the second of its kind this year.

The Straits Times reported that the first exercise happened earlier in February — involving 40 students and teachers from Hwa Chong Institution (HCI).

Hopefully, SBS Transit’s initiative will better prepare the public should there be an emergency underground.

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