Asia

Five remain in hospital following Kuala Lumpur LRT accident

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Five victims of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) train collision remain in hospital, with 62 others discharged after receiving medical treatment, public transport operator Prasarana Malaysia said on Saturday (May 29).

“Out of the five, three individuals have been placed in the normal ward and are expected to be discharged in the next two to seven days,” Prasarana chief executive Norlia Noah said in a statement.

Datin Norlia said that Prasarana would extend a goodwill payment to victims of the LRT train crash.

Victims would receive immediate aid of RM1,000 (S$320) each, said Prasarana.

As at 8am on Saturday (May 29), Madam Norlia said that 130 out of 213 passengers had been identified, including 12 foreigners from Indonesia, the Philippines, Iran, Bangladesh, and other parts of the Middle East. Prasarana is still unable to trace 83 passengers after they walked out of the train following the accident.

The collision happened when one of the trains, an empty carriage with a hostler (driver) suddenly moved in the opposite direction and crashed with another filled with passengers, in a tunnel near the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) station.

The Kelana Jaya LRT trains are usually driverless and controlled from a command centre.

Madam Norlia said on Saturday: “Prasarana hopes passengers involved who have not contacted us can come forward immediately. This information is important for Prasarana to coordinate aid as mentioned before.”

She apologised for the incident.

“I would like to apologise to Malaysians and our passengers for this unwanted incident. We are disappointed with this incident as it has destroyed the good record of the Kelana Jaya LRT line, which has operated for the past 23 years,” she said.

Madam Norlia also apologised for the manner in which the incident was managed by the transport operator.

She added that the latest developments on victims who are still receiving treatment at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, the capital’s general hospital, will be publicly announced.

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, a key Umno leader, was removed from his post Prasarana chairman two days after the accident, after he made controversial remarks at a news conference over the country’s first LRT accident.

Mr Tajuddin had sought to downplay his absence at the accident site on Monday evening, turning up for a visit only on Tuesday morning.

He also said that the two trains had “kissed” each other, remarks that added to public anger, with over 100,000 signatures gathered by Wednesday for a petition demanding his resignation.

Repair works are being carried out in the tunnel where the accident occurred, said Madam Norlia, noting that the full recovery of the LRT line was extremely vital for those who live in urban areas.

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