Power cut paralyses subway for three hours


Bangkok’s subway system was suspended for nearly three hours yesterday because of a power failure, the governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand said.

Prapat Chongsa-nguan said the power cut had occurred at about 11.30am and caused the train from Sam Yan station to stop just 100 metres short of Hua Lampong station.

All passengers were safely evacuated, he said, and transported to Hua Lampong station.

Prapat said the subway had been suspended when the system encountered a power blackout caused by an explosion at the main power transformer. He said the problem had not been caused by the failure of the system and insisted that the subway’s technical systems were in good order.

The incident was caused by a blackout of power provided by the Electricity Authority of Thailand through the main transformer in Bang Phli.

The blackout affected the subway’s two main power distribution centres at Bang Kapi and Ratchada, which distribute electricity to the subway stations.

The Metropolitan Electricity Authority of Thailand said the power transformer had been fixed at around noon, the system restored and service resumed two hours later.

The power cut also affected other subway stations.

Piyapon Rodkhamdee, who was travelling between Klong Toei and Rama IX, said the power had been cut as she left the station. The whole station automatically went dark, and passengers started to panic.

“Passengers with cash tickets got out quickly, but those with day passes were stuck in the station, because the ticket machines could not function,” Piyapon said.

The incident came just five days after the subway resumed operations after a two-week closure caused by an accident on January 17 that left 100 commuters injured.

Published on February 06, 2005

Sucheera Pinijparakarn

The Nation