5-Hour Wheelchair Stand-off
Wed, Jan 20, 2010

A Chinese national couple from Beijing, accompanied by their late uncle's 90-year-old widow in wheelchair, the widow's daugher and their maid, was trying to board SBS bus service 138 - a non-wheelchair-accessible route - at a bus stop on Mandai Road but were refused entry by the bus captain for safety reasons.

Still, they tapped their ez-link cards on the card reader and insisted on staying put, speaking in loud and agitated voices as they stood their ground.

Both parties refused to budge. On one hand, the bus captain insisted that wheelchairs were not allowed on the bus as it was not wheelchair-accessible.

On the other hand, the wife, Madam Lin, 48, "was very surprised because there were no signs on the exterior and interior of the bus that said wheelchairs are not allowed on the bus," she told Shin Min Daily News.

The bus captain then decided to inform his office about the situation and stopped the bus by the roadside. He then told the remaining passenger - about 10 of them - to alight and wait for the next bus.

Unable to resolve the matter at hand, the bus driver called the police - more than five police officers took turns to calm the situation - but even their presence could not end the stand-off.

Accusations were exchanged and tears were shed - all the while with the frail 90-year-old widow laying helplessly on a seat at the back of the bus, exhausted by the wait.


Photos: omy, Shin Min Daily News




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