Passenger got burnt in train?


[tiān yǒu bù cè fēng yún,rén yǒu dàn xī huò fú]

Click here for English translation.

The above Chinese idiom which is commonly used to suggest that human misfortune just like the weather is unpredictable.

When you leave your house or flat, you notice that it’s very hot with a fiery sun staring at you. So you thought it’s a hot day. Suddenly somewhere after you left your home, you got yourself drenched in a heavy thunderstorm.

Unpredictable weather.

I always carry an umbrella with me whenever I walk from my office at Tanah Merah MRT station to the nearby Simpang Bedok for my meal break. It’s about 10 mins walk cutting thru the private estate. In case of raining, I could still come back. I do not want to get stuck in the rain and miss taking over my train.

Whenever I come back to the office with the umbrella my colleagues would usually ask me if it’s raining or ‘hujan’? In my line of work, we are very worried of rain especially heavy rain.

We would have to drive the train manually and enter the station at a slower speed or else the train will ‘over run’ and not stop at the station. Since they are inside the crew room, my colleagues won’t know if it’s raining outside.

My colleagues always laugh at me carrying an umbrella on a hot sunny weather. But then it’s better to be prepared than regret later.

Human misfortune just like the weather is unpredictable. When we leave the house, we won’t know what could happen to us. Even though we are very careful, disaster or misfortune could befall on us. A car could just knock us down even though we wait for the bus at the bus stop. Or a tree could just fall on us and cause us misery.

Recently, it was widely reported in the media that a lady passenger sat on a MRT seat and got her buttock burnt by sulfuric acid. She thought (meaning she knew) it’s just plain water so she just sat down. It was so bad that she had to undergo surgery for skin grafting. It’s now a police case. Hopefully the police could solve the mystery.

But then why should one sit on wet surface? I usually check before I sit down. This is common sense. See where you are walking. See where you are sitting. See what you are eating etc. We always inculcate our children from young all these basic common sense.

Can the above Chinese idiom describe the misfortune which befell on the unfortunate lady passenger?

Who is to be blame?

Her own carelessness?

SMRT’s fault?

It is an offence to bring any inflammable substance or acid into the train. Some trains – not all – do have camera installed. It might help if that train had camera. Hopefully the culprit who left the sulfuric acid accidentally or otherwise will be apprehended soon.

In the meantime, we better watch out when ride on the train. Never ever sit on a wet surface. You can never know what will happen to you if you are not careful. We better take care of our own safety.

Read related article.

Read another related article.

Local media report.

About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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14 Responses to Passenger got burnt in train?

  1. auntielucia says:

    Exactly y would anyone sit on a wet seat, even if it’s only water? Especially when she knew it’s wet! The woman must be a “dumb blonde” or the train was sooooooooo crowded and she so tirrrrred, she had no choice but to sit on a wet seat.


    • I think most properly she was tired and just “chop”any available place to sit in the crowded train even though there was water or even shit there! Sad fact we are facing in our daily life due to the recent sudden surge in population. Our infra structure is overly stretched to the brim and limits! Yet they say we still need need more FTs in our already over populated piece of rock. We are the 3rd highest population density overtaking Hong Kong. We are just behind Macau and Monoca in terms of population density of more than 7,300 persons per sq km. When will those scholar mandarin rulers come to their senses? When will this madness stop? It seems that they are so addicted to seemingly limitless supply of cheap labour from nearby 3rd world countries to churn out more GDP growth for ONLY the rich and powerful controlling every facet of the economy. High growth is a fact but it doesn’t filter down or benefit the bottom 20% of our citizens. In fact our wages are depressed by this so called “globalization!” to justify even more cheap labour.
      To sum up. If only we look further and deeper beyond this seemingly incident of the unfortunate lady there are many underlying issues and problems involved. Think and analyse what I just said. See for yourself if I’m talking nonsense or speaking the truth. I leave it to you.


  2. agongkia says:

    Not going to elaborate but I foresee that fare will goes up again .This is an opportunity to stop anyone bringing in liquid including mineral water for consumption.Cannot offend my friend who work hard for SMRT.
    But before the bookworm ban bottle drink into the train,I propose that they allow mothers who need to bring in water into the train to drink a portion but allow them to,before entry to prove its not acid.
    And aiyo…how can you people insult this sweet lady’s intelligence by saying that she intentionally sit on the water?Those liquid are transparent when poured on the seat and not many will be so observant to know there is liquid on it.,especially those sweet ladies.
    Could be mineral water accidentally spilt on it .Not surprisingly,maybe baby urine becos many poor like me cannot afford diapers nowadays.
    If it is acid then I would say there is a lapse in safety and security here.Why am I paying extras and still do not enjoy safety on seats.There are many other things that are overlook and I thought all risk had been noticed.

    But my only concern is about that lady’s back.Yes,its the lady that I am only concern…….Just dun know whether I can pay her a visit to see how serious that portion is.


  3. agongkia says:

    And sorry,concentrate too much on Char Bor that I forgot to read your contribution.
    IMHO,The proverbs,Tien Yew Poo Cher Chze Fung Ying is not so suitable to use in this case.Though it still can.
    If its liquid that suddenly appearing and splashing on her and she is caught by surprise,then its more appropriate to use that.But claiming that she knows that there is liquid and still sit on it,another idioms should be more suitable to describe the case.I am learning,maybe you are right.


    • Agongkia,
      I like your gallantly gentleman attitude towards that poor lady. Maybe you shld visit her lah.
      Yes it’s an unfortunate security risk. Imagine if it is done on a large scale? Much harm would have caused. Lets hope they don’t become panoroid and ban water in the train.
      Anyway, we also must take care of our own safety. Cannot depend on others right?
      Yes may be u are right that the Chinese idiom may not be appropriate. Thks for sharing your thoughts.


  4. kuaychap_kia says:

    Criticisms aside about this ‘silly’ lady sitting on wet seat, the fact is the liquid was strong acid wor! I don’t think it’s easy to buy acid in Singapore. Could this have been some sort of terrorism act? Terrorism is not just about guns and bombs; even if you go hotel buffet and put chemical on the food to cause harm on others could be termed as terrorism. Yes she might be ‘silly’ but she is ultimately the victim. The person who saw the wet seat and not sit on it did not fall prey to the perpetrator; likewise the person who see an abandoned bag and quickly report might be saved as opposed as seeing a bag, bor chap then BAM, explodes!


    • kuaychap_kia says:

      Also, that’s what ‘terrorism’ is all about isn’t? To catch people by surprise and waiting for a prey/ victim. Sometimes it’s stupidity that allow one to fall prey but not always the case. I don’t think smrt should be blame, just the person who commited it. Please lah people be reasonable; what if it’s a kid who sat on it? Even if you don’t have kid, you were once a kid


      • Hi kuaychap_kia,
        I do agree with you that it could be terrorism or the perpetrator trying to test our system. It’s diff from the 2 graffiti cases on the trains. Anyway the police will have to look into this angle. They will have to rule out terrorism or not. Let the professionals do their job. We just take care our young esp tell them to take care of themselves.
        Hey you sell Kuay chap is it? My favourite food. Can I drop by and pls give special ok? We are frens ok?
        Thks for your comments.


      • kuaychap_kia,
        Thks for speaking up for SMRT. Yes security is everybody’s business. We need to be more vigilant and careful. If you come across any suspicious characters behaving in an abnormal manner or placing unwanted bag or parcel (could be bomb), pls do not hesitate to report to the MRT staff or just press the emergency button to inform the train driver. He will inform the Ops Control Centre. In this way we can catch the culprit before he leaves the train. The train doors will not be opened until the police are there to arrest the culprit as in that case. We must play our part and be alert all the time. We don’t want another London or Mumbai incidents on our trains right?


  5. WinkingDoll says:

    Actually the lady is not to be blamed and it is lucky that she sat her bum right down on the wet seat. What if she had decided to wipe the wet seat using tissue paper in her hands? Afterall, it is a rather common reaction to rain water on the seats. Then her hands would be burnt and the damage would be more serious.

    So the way I look at it, although unfortunate, it is a blessing in disguise that things are not worse. If her hands got damaged, SMRT would be under even more pressure to answer, even if it was not a terrorist act. That wouldn’t be good for any party.


    • Hi WinkingDoll,
      Thks for your comments. Yes in a way it’s a blessing in disguise. The authorities will have lots of answering to do. There are security personnel from private security agency and a specially set up police crack unit whose purpose is to patrol and ensure security on our trains. Two layers of security yet it could get thru i.e. the sulphuric acid.
      This incident is causing much alarm to the general public. It could happen to anybody for that matter. Hopefully such an incident which I think is the first such incident will not occur again. It’s better that we take care of our own safety.


  6. agongkia says:

    But I would prefer my love one to hurt her finger than her bum in this situation because in my opinion,if the quantity of so claim acid is more,it may not only affect the bum but may also affect her ability to produce babies.Finger hurt and not being able to produce babies,I feel the latter is more serious.No finger never mind,cannot make plastic one.No baby worse,dun expect me to carry a doll forever.
    Rare incident doesn’t mean no incident.


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