GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Hill Corporation rushed to make changes in crowd control at the funicular train station after 10,000 people, locals and foreigners, swamped the area on a chaotic Sunday.
Its director Datuk Lee Kah Choon said although they had anticipated a large crowd because of the public holiday, they were surprised that 10,000 people turned up.
A check at the hill station yesterday, however, showed the situation was under control, with Lee personally getting feedback from some passengers in the queue.
“We did not want to disappoint the people, especially those from abroad, who came to try out the upgraded funicular train system that was reopened on April 25, after being closed for a year for refurbishment work,” he said outside the station here yesterday.
Lee said there were some 2,000 passengers on Friday and about 5,000 on Saturday.
“We have learned from the incident and will ensure the existing approach to compartmentalise' passengers in waiting areas in the station is followed,” he said.
He added that some 80 visitors were allowed in each of the five waiting areas in the main building at any one time.
A 50m-long pavement with roofing for visitors had also been created to allow visitors in batches onto the base station grounds while the main gate would be closed when there were large crowds, he said.
It was reported yesterday that a visitor fainted after waiting for several hours under the blazing sun.
According to the dailies, the management closed the main gate while only two ticket counters were operational.
Lee said that between Friday and yesterday, some 60 workers were at the ground.
He added that Sunday was the first day the train was in commercial operation after a six-day charity ride where return tickets were sold at RM10 for adults while children below 12 years rode for free. - theStarOnline