Subway crash – January 17, 2005


Above: Gated entrance to Si Lom subway station

More subway notes - February 4, 2005
Wisarut reports: Many subway passengers in the first day of the reopening (here and here). Those who work at Sathon and live in Samrong area said they would believe in the policy of the government if the government help BMA and BTS to start construction of the Taksin and Samrong extensions. Furthermore, those those live in Thonburi also ask for the extension to Central Pinklao and Central Phra Ram 2 despite of the fact that the new lines and extension would not go to both places so they better learn how to lobby (pay legal bribery to) the government and play tug-of-war with Bangkokians from other districts would like Subway-Skytrain extensions and new line to their home and offices...

Subway notes, February 3, 2005
From Manager Online: On the first day of subway service (February 1, 2005) there were 142,632 passengers. Most people rode the subway during the following period: 6am-9am and 4pm-8pm.
From Manager Online: The major starting points: Hua Lamphong, Silom, Huai Kwang, Phaholyothin (43% of passengers use these 4 stations as the starting point)
The major ending points: Sukhumvit, Silom, Pahholyothin, Hua Lamphong, Lad Phrao (45% of passengers use these 5 stations as the main destinations)
After resuming the Subway service, BTS loses the passengers by 10,000 passengers especially at Saladaeng and Mochit. However, BTS got the compensation from those
passengers who interchange at Asok station, thanks to comfortable interchange at Asok-Suklhumvit
From Manager Online: MRTA is asking for the government to help MRTA set up a rolling stock assembly line and maintenance center at Huay Kwang Depot to create more jobs, gain expertise and cut down the repair period.

Subway resumes service - TNA, February 1, 2005
Bangkok's subway system re-opens today after a two-week temporary closure due to an accident, which caused over 100 passengers injured.
The city's first underground train has resumed its service since 06:00 a.m. today, with an apparently warm welcome by a number of passengers who were returning to use the service, according to local journalists...

Subway opening - translated and summarized from Manager Online, January 31, 2005
Premier Thaksin, officers from MOTC, and artists from Grammy Entertainment PCL are going to Huay Kwang Depot for a test run of the subway before its reopening on February 1, 2005.
The test run will go from Huay Kwang Depot to Bangsue and then Bangsue to Si Lom so as to inspect the viaduct connecting Saladaeng BTS Station and Si Lom Subway Station before ending up at Hua Lamphong Station.

Subway is 100% safe, Thaksin declares - The Nation, February 1, 2004
...MRTA Governor Prapas said the MRTA had paid as much as Bt40 million to hire a consulting company from Germany, which will send experts to inspect the operation 24-hours-a-day for six months. BMCL will foot the bill...
Subway reopens, safety assured - Bangkok Post, February 1, 2004

Subway service to re-open Feb. 1 - TNA, Janaury 31, 2005
SUBWAY: Suriya to decide on re-opening - The Nation, January 31, 2004
Bangkok Subway news >

Below: MRTA workers mill around while waiting for Thaksin and company to make their inspection tour of the new Sala Daeng-Si Lom walkway on January 31.


Authority threatens to halt opening - The Nation, January 30, 2005
...“BMCL was told that it’s supposed to accept the contract changes by the end of tomorrow or else the firm would not have approval to reopen the subway on February 1 as scheduled,” the source said.
Essentially, the contract amendment would require BMCL to overhaul its system-operating plan and appoint MRTA representatives on its operation and maintenance committees as well as its safety committee...

Media test run before reopening Subway - Manager Online, January 30, 2005
MRTA better correct the poorly-designed interchanges and ramp at Huay Kwang Depot before reopening the subway even though it will cost MRTA and BMCL 300 million baht - The Editorial Page, Than Setthakij, January 27-29, 2005
BMCL running fire drills at Lad Phrao Subway Station before the reopening of subway on Feb 1 - Manager Daily, January 27, 2005
SUBWAY CRASH: One week of safety training - The Nation, January 25, 2005
Editorial cartoon on the subway crash - January 25, 2005
Don Entz points out The Nation's editorial cartoon from Saturday.

The damaged subway - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, January 24, 2005
The Thailand Cultural Center station needs some repair before resuming full services:
1) Track replacement since the crash damaged the steel rails [UIC54 -> smaller than UIC60 track used in STAR LRT and PUTRA LRT]
2) Screen door system - needs to be reconfigured so doors open automatically during accidents.
3) Signals - the signal system was been damaged by the crash.
Commentary: Additional reparation I wish MRTA would do immediately:
1) 3rd rail at all parts of the depot to prevent such an accident in the same way BTS has done.
2) Moving the track switchings further away from the gate of the tunnel.
3) Correcting the grading of tunnel from 4% to 2%
4) Reconfiguring subway gate to be opened immediately after the accident

Subway to reopen on February 1 - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, January 24, 2005
MRTA said they will open subway service (Phra Ram 9-Hua Lamphong, Bangsue-Huay Kwang) on February 1, 2005. Thailand Cultural Center is closed for renovation and track rehabilitation.

Operator wants nod to restart subway - The Nation, January 23, 2005
Govt wants German train drivers, staff trainers for subway - Bangkok Post, January 22, 2005
Specialists from Germany are likely to be put in charge of subway operations when services are resumed to ensure safety, said Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit...

MRTA to propose resuming subway service - TNA, January 20, 2005
...Initially, the subway may be available from Bangsue station to Ratchada station, and from Hualamphong station to Phra Ram IX station...

Subway crash updates from The Nation - January 19, 2005
Photos from ThaiRath and here and here and here and the injured and damage photos and more injured
UNDERGROUND ACCIDENT: Probe: It was a schoolboy error
SUBWAY CRASH : Chronic traffic jams return
Passengers lament slow response time
Subway to sit idle for many weeks - The Cabinet yesterday instructed the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to close the subway indefinitely...

Also: SUBWAY CRASH - 9:30am, January 17, 2005

SUBWAY ACCIDENT: Cloud over expansion, stock listing - The Nation, January 18, 2005
Having an accident so soon after operations began could jeopardise the prospect of the subway company Bangkok Metro Co Ltd (BMCL) expanding its routes, winning future contracts from the government and listing on the stock market, officials said...
EDITORIAL: Human error derails new metro - The Nation, January 18, 2005
The subway crash shows that no amount of hi-tech gadgetry can counteract Thailand’s culture of inefficiency...

Above: Post headlines 18 hours after the event--no hint of the subway crash

Post disappoints and CBC confuses - January 18, 2005
While Thai-newspaper websites were being bombarded all day by those looking for updates about the subway crash, the Bangkok Post's static, one-update-a-day site had nothing to offer. Their first tsunami info page also came online 10 days after the event.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) caused much confusion with their article "200 dead in Bangkok subway crash." This was one of the first articles online about the event. It was later changed to "200 injured in Bangkok subway crash." Unlike printed newspapers where editors have to acknowledge and print corrections, on the internet, the original article can just vanish to be replaced with a corrected piece.
Below: CBC's original headline--which was in error.

SUBWAY CRASH - 9:30am, January 17, 2005

5:53pm - Wisarut reports: From Manager Online
The Government is planing to take over BMCL by force due to the subway accident

One week suspension after the accident will cause the loss of revenue of 17.5 million baht

After treatment, only 10 injured and 1 in ICU are still in hospital

Thipphaya Insurance PCL agrees to pay 12 billion baht

Director of Insurance Dept asking Insurance& Assurance companies to speed up payment for those injured

Deputy PM Jaturon is asking MRTA to review safety measures after the crash

Ministry of Public Health praising the well-prepared MRTA-BMCL workers for the speedy rescue and fast recovery

Senator Sawai Brahmanee Lambasting MRTA + MOTC--asking both MRTA Governor Praphat and MOTC Minister Suriya to resign immediately

Premier Thaksin coming to the subway crash site for investigation

More subway crash photos

Premier Thaksin delivering the Subway crash report to Her Majesty

Premier Thaksin points out human error from the driver who unlocked the safety brake as the main cause--massive revision on training needed

- Wisarut reports: Governor Abhilux and Governor Praphat will have a press conference at 4:00pm to ensure public safety and raise public confidence in the mass transit system.

From Manager Online:
Social Security - 30-baht health care is going to pay for Subway accident victims with strings attached

Suriya claiming that human error is the main cause of the accident, not the system--1 of the 2 seriously Injured is the driver of the empty Subway that slammed into the car with passengers

More photos about the crash from Channel 11

Phra Ram 9 Hospital Director said 2 women are in critical care--one with pulverized liver and spleen and the other with a head injury

Even Mr. Karun Jantharasuk (the former member of BTS Board) said it is human error

Governor Praphat said a broken couple caused the empty train to slide down from Huay Kwang depot to slam the passenger train at Thailand Cultural Center

Suriya ordering MRTA to temporarily halt subway service for one week for a deep investigation of the accident

The Subway driver who slammed into the car with passengers is not at Hua Chiaw Hospital

2:06pm - Wisarut reports: Now, there are 180 people injured from Subway Accident when Subway Number 1015 (empty train) colliding with Subway No 1028 (with passengers). 7 patients are still in ICU.

From Manager Online:
The list of those 180 injured

Photo of the subway accident

BMA City Clerk said subway accident is due to human error

Governor Abhilux Claiming that BTS has Security measure to ensure Safe Services

Suriya said he feel very regretful about this Subway tragedy - Thipphaya Insurance PCL (the Insurance Company for State Enterprises) said they have to pay 800 million baht

Regular subway customers fell scared on the subway - malfunctioning emergency doors!

Subway driver with chin injury: needs 5 stitches... and the study of the empty subway train slamming into an occupied train

Suriya getting angry: Quick investigation has to happen immediately

MRTA explaining that system malfunction is the cause of the accident - Subway drivers are still in hospital

Thai Railfans' responses toward the accident

- Subway accident injury toll approaches 200 in Thailand's capital - AP

- The Nation/AFP file a wire report: 100 injured in Bangkok train crash
...The passenger train had just closed its doors and was still stopped at the platform, he said, adding that the empty train seemed to be going in reverse when they collided. Passengers reportedly attempted to get out of the train, but there was no emergency exit and it took about 10 minutes for the guards had to find keys to open the doors...

- Photos and story from Manager Online

11:28am -
Modern TV 9 is reporting that the entire subway network is closed until further notice.

- Modern TV 9 (which has studios close to the accident) is reporting that the train that went backwards and crashed was empty. On the train with passengers, many broken arms and legs are reported. Victims can make cliams from Tippaya Insurance Company.

- Subway accident injures many people in Thailand's capital - AP
A subway train slammed into another one stopped at a station during morning rush hour Monday, injuring as many as 100 people, six months after the subway system opened in the Thai capital, police and officials said.
Some of the victims were bleeding as rescue workers carried them up the stairs of the Cultural Center station to ambulances. Others, dazed and crying, were helped up the stairs to the street.
The driver of one of the trains was trapped in the wreckage and rescue workers were trying to reach him, said Yupadee Srinak, the spokeswoman for the underground train service.
The accident occurred when a train that was preparing to leave the station was struck by another train from behind, leaving both of them heavily damaged, police said.
Police said dozens of people were injured, but Yupadee said as many as 100 were hurt.
The new subway system opened to the public in July, linking at three stations with elevated rail lines launched in 1999 to alleviate Bangkok's notoriously heavy traffic.

11:15am - The Nation has their first online bulletin about the accident: Rescue workers said the passengers were still being rescued and part of the train has been cut through to access them.

Posted at 11:06am - Nation News Radio is reporting no one died. Now more 100 passengers injured. The driver was seriously injured. Injured sent to Praram 9, Krungtep and Police hospital. Massive traffic jam at Ratchada and Praram 9 Roads. The Minister of Transportation, Suriya Juenrungroengkit, said it is an accident and not terrorism, because the subway is controlled by computer. He said the subway is responsible for everything. Of the 100 injuries, 10 are serious.
Thai language forums on the accident. Thai netters' responses to the first serious subway accident: here and here

11:02am - AP posts their first report: Report: subway accident injures more than 50 people in Thai capital

Posted at 10:47am - Ron Morris ( editor) reports: I was in Suthisarn Station at 9:25am. and boarded a car towards Hualamphong. It seemed the car had been sitting there for awhile. At 9:37am they came into the station will bullhorns and told everyone to leave.

Posted at 10:43am - Nation News Radio is reporting two subway cars crashed at Thai Cultural Center Station at 9.30 a.m. 50 were injured. Officers need help to carry the passengers who were injured. One car was to go to Hualumpong and one to Bangsue. But nobody knew why the Hualumpong direction train started going backwards and crashed into the train going to Bangsue (more details to come).
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