Malaysian Pilgrims Join in Prasarana’s Emergency Response Plan in Mekah

Malaysian Pilgrims Join in Prasarana’s Emergency Response Plan in Mekah :With the support of 300 Malaysian pilgrims, Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (Prasarana) has successfully conducted a major simulation exercise for the Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Makkah Metro; which put to test the preparedness of its operation procedures and manpower in a massive evacuation exercise in the event of a train failure.

Under the integrated Emergency Response Plan (ERP) live exercise, or commonly identified as test case, held last Saturday, the Malaysian pilgrims turned ‘passengers in distresses’ as they were required to be rescued after their train from Arafat 3 station encountered mechanical failure while heading to Mudzalifah 1 station.

Simulated in between the stations of Arafat 3 and Mudzalifah 1, the ERP was supported by the Saudi Civil Defence, Saudi Red Crescent, Saudi General Security, officials of the Health Ministry and various organisations as independent observers including TUV Rhineland Middle East, DB International and Dar Group.

“We conducted a simulation exercise under Movement C, which involves movement of pilgrims from Arafat stations to Mudzalifah on the 9th of Zulhijjah. Time management is highly critical on Movement C and all participants taking part in the exercise were strictly reminded on the need for swift action while observing all rules and procedures on safety,” said Haji Bukhari Mohamad, who is the Managing Director of Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Makkah Metro.

Operating specifically for the haj for 7 consecutive days from the 7th of Zulhijjah, the Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Makkah Metro runs five movements patterns; based on the traveling of pilgrims in performing their various holy acts at Arafah, Mudzalifah, Mina and at Masjidil Haram accordingly to the dates of the Haj.

Movement C runs between 6pm to 11pm on the 9th of Zulhijjah to ferry out all pilgrims from Arafah to Mudzalifah for their compulsory night stay in Mudzalifah. The trains operate on a shuttle service mode from all three stations in Arafah to the three Mudzalifah stations.
As an integrated simulation exercise, the ERP was supported by the relevant external parties, which Bukhari described as critical in the success of the exercise.

The exercise, he said, was primarily aimed at improving further the communication and cooperation between rail operator and the external parties – the Civil Defence, Saudi General Security, Saudi Red Crescent and the Ministry of Health.

“It is also to test the competency of the staff involved, the exercise was also aimed at testing the appropriateness and practicability of procedures. The exercise, which is the climax of a series of test cases that we had conducted this month, is also aimed at verifying whether all systems and equipment were functional, adequate and fit for operations,” added Bukhari, who was the Commander for the simulation exercise.

“On behalf of the team, we would like to thank the Malaysian pilgrims for participating in the exercise. We would also like to thank all our external parties and our official observers, which provided vital inputs in enhancing further our performance in preparation for the real operations later this month.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify on the role of TUV Rhineland Middle East, which was earlier inaccurately reported as having supervised our test cases. I would like to firmly state that TUV Rhineland Middle East is an official observer in the test cases and is being contracted by Prasarana as a wholly Independent Competent Person (ICP). They report directly to the Saudi Arabian Rail Regulator, the Saudi Railways Commission (SRC),” added Bukhari.

The simulation exercise also included crowd control procedures at the three Arafat stations in view of the growing numbers due to the temporary stoppage of service and regular announcements on the PA system to keep the passengers informed of the situation.

According to Bukhari, the integrated ERP exercise, which is the climax of a series of test cases that we had conducted this month, is also aimed at verifying whether all systems and equipment were functional, adequate and fit for operations.

malaysian-pilgrims-join-in-prasaranas-emergency-response-plan-in-mekah

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