An SMRT bendy bus ended up stuck in the mud for more than 10 hours after its driver took a wrong turn and attempted to make a U-turn on an open field.
The bus had been trapped since midnight on Thursday (Sep 29) on a field near Blocks 254 and 256 at Kim Keat Avenue. It was finally towed away at about 10.15am after a chain was attached to the rear of the bus to pull it out of the field.
In response to queries, SMRT said it was investigating the incident.
“The bus captain was returning the vehicle to the bus depot early this morning when he took a wrong turn and attempted to make a U-turn on the field,” said Mr Patrick Nathan, SMRT’s Vice-President for Corporate Information and Communications.
“We apologise to residents who may have been affected by the noise during the recovery effort,” he added.
An SMRT representative at the scene told Channel NewsAsia that the bus driver had gone home but said he was not sure if the driver was injured.
Workers from a tow truck company tried several times to tow away the bus but were unsuccessful.
Mr Seah Hui Chou, an employee of People's Vehicle Recovery Service – which has a contract with SMRT – said this was the first case he has seen of a bus stuck on a field in his 19 years with the company.
He said his company was alerted to the incident at around 2am but did not attempt to move the bus last night. "We wanted to wait until office hours to make sure the SMRT head office could confirm we would not be liable for damage if we use rougher methods like pulling the bus," he said.
According to Mr Seah, the workers initially tried to level the bus by lifting it to ground level, but the body of the bus was already touching the ground so they were unable to insert the mechanical arm to lift the vehicle without damaging the bus.
A chain was then attached to the rear of the bus to pull it out, a move that had to be approved by SMRT as it could damage the bus' rear compartment, Mr Seah said.
At around 10.15am, the bus was finally pulled out and towed away.
Several residents passing by gawked at the bus and took photos. A resident living nearby, Mr Terence Low, posted a photo of the stuck bus on Facebook at around 12.24am on Thursday.
“Witching hour of midnight and bendy bus gets stuck here on this patch of green near our block. Driver is trying ever so hard to move it with engine going on overdrive! Possibly creating more air and noise pollution than going anywhere fast,” he wrote.
“There're no bus depots in this area. LTA trying out a new transport route or SMRT lost a bus taken by a driver gone rogue? Moment of not sure to laugh or cry.”