What can victims, family members of last week’s LRT crash do?

·4-min read
Rescue personnel tending to the injured passengers at KLCC station, after a collision between two LRT trains on the Kelana Jaya line, May 24, 2021. — File picture by Firdaus Latif
Rescue personnel tending to the injured passengers at KLCC station, after a collision between two LRT trains on the Kelana Jaya line, May 24, 2021. — File picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Many, if not all aboard the TR81 LRT coach, would have pictured the short trip between Kampung Baru to KLCC on a quiet evening on May 24 to be just another routine train ride.

Little did they know they would become victims to an unprecedented two-train crash on the LRT Kelana Jaya line, the first in the history of the automated rail line.

From a total of 213 passengers on board, at least six passengers were seriously injured and required attention at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Hospital Kuala Lumpur that very night.

Over a hundred others were also injured in the incident.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said later that the victims were entitled to sue operator Prasarana Malaysia Bhd for compensation, after talk emerged of a possible class-action lawsuit.

If you are among the 213 passengers on board the TR81 coach, here are your options.

Cash compensation

Immediately following the incident, Prasarana announced a RM1,000 compensation package to all the passengers.

However, Prasarana said that only 31 passengers have come forward to collect the cash compensation as of Tuesday.

The operator has also pledged to cover the full cost of the medical treatment of all victims including follow-up treatments for injuries sustained during the incident.

Those who lost their source of income due to inability to work as a result of injuries from the incident are also being offered compensation by Prasarana, which is supposed to cover the basic cost of living expenses until they are able to return to work.

Those affected can contact Prasarana at +6014-7171330, or email them at recovery2021@prasarana.com.my

Legal aid

Several parties have come forward to offer legal assistance to the crash victims, after describing the RM1,000 compensation as grossly inadequate.

Among those who have expressed their willingness to assist are political parties DAP and PKR, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman’s youth movement the Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda), and youth think thank Enlight Malaysia.

Two days following the incident, PKR Youth’s legal bureau had said it would offer advice to victims looking to understand their rights in such incidents based on relevant laws.

DAP said it would provide legal representation to victims should they decide to pursue further action against the operator. The party said those who are interested can reach out to them by contacting the DAP Kepong service centre at +603-6242 8606 during office hours.

Muda, in offering legal assistance through its Legal and Legislative Bureau, told Prasarana its offer of RM1,000 compensation and to pay the victims' medical costs did not relieve it of its legal obligations as a service provider.

Muda is reachable at +601119698298 or via email at peguam.pejuang@gmail.com.

Also extending its services is Enlight Malaysia. Besides offering legal advice and representation to affected youths, the think tank added that mental health services are also being made available to those interested.

Enlight Malaysia can be reached at +6011-21862826.

What is the latest?

In Prasarana’s latest update, it said that 61 victims out of 64 who were admitted have since been discharged while three are still being treated at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

As mentioned, less than 20 per cent of all the victims from the incident have come forward to claim their RM1,000 goodwill compensations.

To date, only 136 out of the 213 passengers on board that fateful trip have been identified, Prasarana said 16 were foreigners from Bangladesh, Iran, Philippines, Indonesia, and the Middle East.

It said counselling services managed by the Board of Counsellors, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and the Federal Territory Social Welfare Department have also been made available to victims and their family members.

Additionally, just three days after Wee said victims were free to take legal action against Prasarana, the operators confirmed receiving a notice of demand.

Prasarana confirmed receiving the notice from solicitors who were acting on behalf of one of the victims, 52-year-old Wong Chee Foong.

The RM1.8 million suit from Wong seeks to claim for medical expenses, physical damage, mental and emotional stress, trauma, loss of income, special and general damages and for the negligence caused.

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