ST Picks: The S’pore transport investigators uncovering the truths behind accidents

1 month ago 80

Updated

Jun 17, 2024, 08:09 PM

Published

Jun 17, 2024, 12:00 PM

SINGAPORE – Three hours. This brief pocket of time is enough for a small team of aviation investigators from a Ministry of Transport (MOT) department to get ready to jet out, if an incident involving a Singapore-registered aircraft has occurred overseas.

When Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321 was hit by turbulence on May 21, resulting in a death and multiple injuries, investigators from the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) got onto a flight chartered for the airline’s employees to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

They were on the ground by 10.45pm Singapore time, just six hours after the turbulence-stricken SIA flight made an emergency landing in the Thai capital.

The bureau is in the spotlight as it investigates the SQ321 incident and an incident in March involving a Singapore-flagged ship that rammed into a bridge in Baltimore, in the United States, causing the structure to collapse into the Patapsco River and resulting in the death of six individuals.

The investigators declined to go into details of the ongoing investigations.

The TSIB does not just probe air, marine and rail incidents that occur in Singapore, but also those abroad involving Singapore-registered or operated aircraft and ships.

It looks into rail incidents that involve fatalities or serious injuries from train operations, derailment, collision, breakaway rail vehicles and rail explosions.

When they get the call of an air incident overseas, TSIB aviation investigators will first meet in their office at Chan...

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