Loke praises monorail captain for saving lives after tree fell on tracks

Transport minister Loke Siew Fook presenting an award to Ahmad Zahiruddin Nordin (in red) for his good work in stopping the train on time after branches blocked the tracks.

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport minister Loke Siew Fook today thanked a monorail train captain and staff who played a crucial role in saving the lives of passengers after a tree uprooted during a storm and branches fell on the tracks earlier this month.

Loke said train captain Ahmad Zahiruddin Nordin’s swift action saved the lives of the 30 passengers.

He said Zahiruddin’s 14 years of experience as a monorail captain helped him make the right decision at a critical time.

“I was informed that in 2015 he also dealt with a fallen tree (when driving the monorail).

“That’s why he was very cautious when there was heavy rain and fully focused on any danger ahead.

“He was able to take immediate action (after spotting the branches blocking the track), stopping the train calmly and saving the situation,” Loke said during a press conference here.

He praised Zahiruddin as the “unsung hero” in the incident.

Loke also said Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s monorail staff were also integral in assisting Zahiruddin in the incident, from stopping the train to transferring the passengers to continue their interrupted journey.

On May 7, four monorail stations – Bukit Nanas, Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang and Imbi – were temporarily closed after a large tree was uprooted during a 2pm thunderstorm and branches fell on the tracks at Jalan Sultan Ismail, near the Concorde Hotel.

The fallen tree damaged 17 vehicles and resulted in the death of a 47-year-old motorist and injured two others in another car.

Meanwhile, Loke announced that Prasarana had allocated RM50 million to upgrade its monorail amenities, the upkeep of which had been a longstanding issue.

He said the allocation will, among others, enhance the monorail’s safety and reliability. The funds will be spent on improving lifts, platform doors, toilets and upgrading the closed-circuit television camera system with video analytics.

Loke said the upgrading work was expected to be completed as early as October or at the latest by January.


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