On 8th of April 2019, a lady’s leg was caught in between the train and the platform. The unfortunate incident happened at 8:45 am at Buona Vista Station.
As per usual, trains were full in the morning rush hour and many were rushing in and out of the train. The lady was pushed, and her leg was trapped in between the gap between the train and the platform as a result.
One might think that many would immediately render assistance to the lady. However, one netizen named Brandon, who witnessed the scene wrote a heart breaking post describing how many commuters actually took photographs, videos and ignored the lady’s emergency situation. The netizen allegedly had to shout “Press the emergency button!” 3 times before a passenger activated the emergency stop button.
“Those precious seconds could have determined life or death. Don’t make “tsk” noises to voice your displeasure at the situation. You’re going to be 10 mins late to work? Big deal. Think about it, a woman could have lost her life. ” the netizen added in his Facebook post.
Below is the full post written by Brandon.
“I was on the circle line train towards Harbourfront this morning when a young lady’s leg got caught in between the train and the platform. This happened at 8:45am @ Buona Vista station.
The train was full to the brim and passengers were rushing to get out of the train. The lady was pushed and she fell. Her right leg got caught in the gap and was stuck from the knee downwards.
Unfortunately, I am not a certified first responder. All I could do was help to calm the poor lady down and help to lift her leg out of the gap together with the other SMRT service staff. Yet I feel obliged to point out a few observations.
Firstly, to all other passengers on the train, don’t just stand around taking photographs and videos when someone is need of dire help. I had to shout “Press the emergency button!” 3 times before another passenger activated the emergency stop button. Those precious seconds could have determined life or death. Don’t make “tsk” noises to voice your displeasure at the situation. You’re going to be 10 mins late to work? Big deal. Think about it, a woman could have lost her life.
To the other commuters on the platform, don’t just stand there ogling at the scene. Make way for any first responders to help, make way for the SMRT service staff rushing down to assist the lady, make way for the injured party when a safe space is required. I am ashamed to admit I myself should have done more, I am ashamed to admit I should have been more prepared for situations like these. Had all of us at the scene been more considerate and prepared, the lady would have been put more at ease and felt more secure.
Secondly, there should be more first aid training on SMRT’s part. The emergency response time also has to be improved. The lady’s leg got caught at 8:45am, the first SMRT staff on the scene arrived 45 seconds later, the second one more than a minute later. I understand that the morning crowd at Buona Vista can get pretty unmanageable, but there has to be more urgency. Furthermore, any talk of an ambulance wasn’t even initiated until more than 10 mins later. In my view, that’s far too slow.
Here’s an example of why there needs to be more training in your corporation. One of your staff was anxious and raising his voice at the woman, yelling “Move your leg! Move your leg or we cannot help!”, before she responded loudly while crying “I can’t it’s too painful!”. How can you shout at the lady when her leg was stuck? She was in excruciating pain (compression from the platform and heat from the train undercarriage) and was obviously panicking. There has to be more situational awareness. I had to hold her hand and tell her that the train had been stopped manually, that we would be applying vaseline to her leg to lubricate it and remove it from the gap, and if we took too long her leg would suffer even more, and that we would not leave her side until her leg had been extracted. She only started to move when she calmed down, and the extraction process became much easier. It might be ironic of me to call for more first aid training when I am not certified myself, but situations like these just reinforce my point. The incidence of this happening will keep increasing as long as platforms and trains are extremely crowded.
Also, here’s a big shout out to the certified first responder (and all other first responders) who was a medical student that just happened to be at Buona Vista and arrived on the scene 11 mins later, at 8:56am. The young gentleman was professional and immediately allayed her fears.
TL;DR: To all commuters, don’t prioritise your personal gratification but instead, do your part to help out anyone in need of emergency help. To SMRT, there needs to be more first aid training immediately. I am not trying to vilify your organisation, I just wish there would be no more incidents like these. Your staff were wonderfully helpful but were obviously not trained for such situations. To the poor lady who was caught, I hope you feel much better and have not sustained any serious injuries.
— in Buona Vista MRT Station.”