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What caused MRT 3 accident? Gov’t begins probe

What caused MRT 3 accident? Gov’t begins probe
The investigation will determine if the accident was caused by technical or human error, says the LRTA

MANILA, Philippines – The government has begun its probe on the cause of the derailment of a Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) train in Pasay City, the  Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said on Wednesday, August 13.

Hernando Cabrera, spokesman of the LRTA and MRT 3, said investigators started the probe shortly after the incident that injured a still undetermined number of people past 4 pm on Wednesday.

The investigation will determine if the accident was caused by technical or human error, Cabrera said.

The official said in an interview on dzBB that the train, with body number 003-B, lost its power between the Magallanes and Taft stations a little over past 4 pm.

Operations resumed past 5 pm.

The standard procedure of the MRT, Cabrera said, is for the stalled train’s brakes to automatically lock.  Another train then needs to come to its rescue – to “couple” or link with the stalled train – and push it out of harm’s way.

Passengers on the second “rescuer” train were asked to go down at the Magallanes Station before the “coupling” of the two trains started.  The passengers of the stalled train were not allowed to disembark as it was situated in between stations.

Cabrera explained that once trains are “coupled,” the brakes of the stalled train are manually released. 

“What happened was that supposedly, the stalled train is under control because it had been linked [to the other train]. The problem was, while it was being pushed, they became uncoupled,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He said that since the first train had no power, it failed to stop on its own, causing it to breach the barrier.

Cabrera said MRT 3 operations are ongoing, but advised commuters to expect delays since only one track is being used for both southbound and northbound trips, due to the derailed train.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya headed to to the accident site, from Malacañang, that afternoon.

“Secretary Abaya has instructed MRT 3 to assist the injured passengers right away while he inspects the site and gets a full report on the incident,” the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in a statement.

Abaya defended the maintenance of the train system but says a probe will determine the cause of the accident.


 – with reports from Bea Cupin/Rappler.com

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