Kuala Lumpur train collision during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alzamani M. Idrose, Fikri M. Abu-Zidan, Nurul Liana Roslan, Khairul Izwan M. Hashim, Saiyidi Mohd Azizi Mohd Adibi, Mahathar Abd. Wahab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Two city trains collided in an underground tunnel on 24 May 2021 at the height of COVID-19 pandemic near the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, immediately after the evening rush hours. We aim to evaluate the management of this mass casualty incident highlighting the lessons learned to be used in preparedness for similar incidents that may occur in other major cities worldwide. Methods: Information regarding incident site and hospital management response were analysed. Data on demography, triaging, injuries and hospital management of patients were collected according to a designed protocol. Challenges, difficulties and their solutions were reported. Results: The train's emergency response team (ERT) has shut down train movements towards the incident site. Red zone (in the tunnel), yellow zone (the station platform) and green zone (outside the station entrance) were established. The fire and rescue team arrived and assisted the ERT in the red zone. Incident command system was established at the site. Medical base station was established at the yellow zone. Two hundred and fourteen passengers were in the trains. Sixty-four of them were injured. They had a median (range) ISS of 2 (1–43), and all were sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). Six (9.4%) patients were clinically triaged as red (critical), 19 (29.7%) as yellow (semi-critical) and 39 (60.9%) as green (non-critical). HKL's disaster plan was activated. All patients underwent temperature and epidemiology link assessment. Seven (10.9%) patients were admitted to the hospital (3 to the ICU, 3 to the ward and 1 to a private hospital as requested by the patient), while the rest 56 (87.5%) were discharged home. Six (9.4%) needed surgery. The COVID-19 tests were conducted on seven patients (10.9%) and were negative. There were no deaths. Conclusions: The mass casualty incident was handled properly because of a clear standard operating procedure, smooth coordination between multi-agencies and the hospitals, presence of a 'binary' system for 'COVID-risk' and 'non-COVID-risk' areas, and the modifications of the existing disaster plan. Preparedness for MCIs is essential during pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Collision
  • Communication
  • Disaster
  • Malaysia
  • Management
  • Mass casualty incident
  • Train
  • Triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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