On Saturday, October 7 2017 flooding in the MRT tunnels from Braddell to Bishan stations caused a train breakdown along 13 of the stations that the MRT services on the North-South line for a few hours. There is also technical glitch as reported by The Pride at Woodlands MRT. Although some trains along the Newton and Marina South Pier were back up and working about four hours after the trains broke down, some of the lines were still not going to be up and running until the next morning. At 10:45 on October 7, 2017 they updated their Facebook page with this status:
“Train services from Newton to Ang Mo Kio stations in both directions are not available tonight till end of service.
Our engineers are working to restore services for tomorrow morning and will carry out network-wide tunnel checks throughout the night. This is to ensure the safety of the MRT lines before start of service on Sunday.
Free bus and bus bridging services are still available for commuters outside MRT stations from Ang Mo Kio to Marina South Pier.
We are sorry to have inconvenienced you this evening.”
Early on Saturday morning the National Environment Agency issued warnings that there were going to be heavy rain and wind storms over most of Singapore. Around 7:00pm that night the Singapore Civil Defence Force spoke with people from the Society for MR Radiographers and Technologists informing them that there was flooding in the tunnels. Around midnight on October 7, 2017 an update was given that even though they were using water pumps to remove the water from the affected stations, that there could be delays into the next day. In fact, in some of the stations the water rose more than 30 centimeters.
Although water had pooled in the tunnels during previous storms, this was the first time in recent history that the flooding caused the trains to breakdown. The MRT employees had placed preventative measures in the tunnels to try to prevent a breakdown from happening, but this was proven to be of little help in the area of Braddell and Bishan.
Along with flooding there was a fire spotted by a train captain at Marina Bay station. By the time help arrived, the rain storms and flooding had helped extinguish the fire.
Engineers were deployed to both Marina Bay station for the fire as well as Braddell station and Bishan station to investigate and see if they could figure out a way to deal with the current situation and get the trains running again, as well as try to figure out how to prevent the flooding and trains breaking down from happening in the future. All of the MRT tunnels were equipped with water pumps that are supposed to start working as soon as a tunnel starts to become flooded. Even though this safety system has worked very well in the past, it is unknown why it did not work that night.
Since so many people in Singapore use the train as a way to commute to and from work, there were many people who were stranded at these bus stations who had no way to get to their destination. Uber worked with MRT to help provide rides for stranded people by suspending their surge pricing during that time.