KTMB derailed by some RM33m loss

Oct 30, 2016
KTMB is working around the clock to remove the wreakages caused by the train derailment mishap near Batu Gajah on Friday Oct 28, 2016.
KTMB is working around-the-clock to remove the wreakages of the train derailment mishap near Batu Gajah on Friday Oct 28, 2016.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) could have suffered a loss of about RM33 million from the cargo train derailment accident near Batu Gajah last Friday.

KTMB chairman Nawawi Ahmad could not determine the exact figure of loss as the train company was currently focussed on removing the carriages and clearing the tracks.

His rough calculation was based on cost of each locomotive at about RM12 million and each carriage at some RM400,000.

He described that the train crash as the worst in KTMB’s 130-year history.

“I have reviewed all the train derailment incidents in the country, and this is the worst,” Nawawi told reporters when visiting the site on Saturday.

KTMB has deployed about 150 workers currently to work around-the-clock to remove the carriages.

The process of removing the wagons only started on Saturday afternoon as authorities could not get the services of a crane on the day of the incident due to the Deepavali festive season.

Some 70 per cent of clearing the wreckage was completed on Saturday, with lifting of 17 of the 25 wagons derailed.

It takes about 20 minutes to remove each wagon.

Once the wagons have all been removed, KTMB will work on restoring the electricity which will take up two hours as six electric poles were damaged.

KTMB also needs to replace 100 meters of track due to severe damage.

Each concrete sleeper weighs 200 kilogrammes and requires about six people to replace it.

It will take up to eight hours to complete as it is being done manually.

In the Friday mishap at 3.15am, the cargo train derailed at Km200.33 at Lahat, near Batu Gajah.

The 46-year-old train driver Mohd Razali Salleh suffered minor injuries in his right leg and ribs while his assistant Nik Norfarezuan, 23, escaped unhurt.

A small fire broke out, but the Fire and Rescue Department got the fire under control immediately.

The incident disrupted KTMB’s commercial services on the north and south lines.

The cargo train was heading to Tasek from Kuang, Selangor, to collect a load of cement when the incident occurred.

Two locomotives and 25 empty carriages derailed and blocked two tracks, preventing all trains from continuing onwards.

The disrupted north-south rail services is expected to resume today, albeit on one track.

KTMB is now trying to complete the restoration work faster than the 48-hour deadline issued by Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai to complete the job, which Nawawi said “was too long”.

The electric train service (ETS) can resume as normal today as KTMB aims to restore one track, which will allow the train to bypass the affected stretch.

KTMB is still investigating the cause of the derailment as investigators can only retrieve data from the locomotives after the restoration process was completed.