1 Over 500 people took part in an emergency preparedness exercise this morning to test the Circle Line operations staff's readiness for a large-scale emergency.
2 The two-hour emergency exercise took place at the Circle Line stations between Bartley to Marymount, which are the first five stations to open for passenger service on 30 May 2009.
3 "Today's emergency exercise allows us to test the effectiveness of SMRT and the various agencies' emergency response plans and procedures. The exercise was an excellent opportunity for residents in the area to learn about safety procedures in a realistic setting. I would like to thank all agencies for their hard work in putting together this exercise as well as all who took part in it", said Mr Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, who graced the exercise this morning.
4 The exercise began with the SMRT staff conducting a safety briefing to the public before the simulation began. The simulation began at about 10.00am, with SMRT station and Operation Control Centre staff working with officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) to detrain and rescue the commuters trapped in the train following a fire. The train was heading eastbound from Lorong Chuan to Serangoon Station when the incident happened.
5 Among the participants were 300 students and teachers from Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School and 120 grassroots members from three constituencies along the Circle Linalong the Circle Line's Bartley to Marymount alignment (Braddell Heights, Bishan-Toa Payoh North, and Geylang Serai). All took away a first hand experience of what to expect during an emergency and the correct safety procedures in the event of a detrainment.
6 Mr Gary Tan, 49, from the Braddell Heights Constituency, said, "This emergency exercise is very useful indeed. By exposing members of the public to the drills of the exercise, we all have a first hand feel of what to expect during an emergency. It also allows us to be more aware of the preparedness level of the authorities and train operators."
7 Vito Benjamin Sugianto, 14, from Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School exclaimed, "I have never participated in an emergency exercise. I am very excited to be involved in this exercise as one of the new Circle Line station is located right in front of my house! It is also an honour to be one of the first few to ride on the new Circle Line train."
8 This emergency exercise was developed and coordinated by the Land Transport Authority, with the support of SMRT, SCDF and SPF.
About Circle Line from Bartley to Marymount
9 The Circle Line (CCL) is an orbital line that links all Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines running into the city. It will offer inter-suburban connectivity that is currently not provided by the MRT system.
10 This stretch of Circle Line (from Bartley to Marymount) is 5.7 kilometres in length and consists of five stations - Bartley, Serangoon (interchange), Lorong Chuan, Bishan (interchange) and Marymount Stations.
11 The two interchange stations, Bishan and Serangoon, connect to the North South Line and North East Line respectively.
12 Three of the stations, Bartley, Lorong Chuan and Bishan, are designed as civil defence shelters.