MRT limits operations after ‘baffling’ decoupling incident

Nov 16, 2017 | Accident, Incidents, Injury, MRT, Passengers

At around 9:12 a.m. on Thursday, two MRT coaches were detached from the main train pulling it, leaving around 130 to 140 passengers. Ivan Caballero Villegas

MANILA, Philippines — Officials of the Metro Rail Transit were left “baffled” by a train detaching on Thursday morning, said that they will be implementing measures to maintain quality of train services.

MRT Director for Operations Mike Capati, in a press conference on Thursday afternoon, said that starting November 17, trains will start running from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Initially, train operations start at 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

But Capati said that the extra one hour will allow them to extend maintenance check on the trains.

On Thursday morning, a coach of the MRT detached from the train pulling it, leaving more than a hundred passengers behind.

The MRT Director also said that they will only have a maximum of “15 running trains at any given time” to avoid “stretching” the MRT’s maintenance capacity.

The MRT normally has 18 operational trains.

Capati also said that they will be deploying marshalls for every train to ensure the safety of the commuters. He assured the public that the MRT remains safe for every commuter, and that their team are thoroughly investigating the matter.

Team left “baffled” by uncoupling incident

Earlier in the news briefing, train driver Reynaldo Año also faced the media. He recounted that he received a communication error alert at train number 3 while he was operating the train going to Buendia station.

“Pasulong po ‘yun,pataas,” Año said, adding: “Dahil pataas po yon, tinraction ko. Tinawag ko sa control, sinabi ko sa control na may communication error, sabi mag-initialize sa Buendia.”

But he said that when he arrived at the Buendia station, he looked at the mirror and saw that the other train coaches were left behind in the middle of Buendia and Ayala station.

At around 9:12 a.m., the MRT limited its operations from North Avenue to Shaw Boulevard station only.

Regular operations were restored at around 9:30 a.m.

Transport Undersecretary Cesar Chavez said that “Around 130 to 140 passengers were evacuated by the combined security guards from Buendia and Ayala station.”

The transport official said that there were no reported injuries among the passengers, who were made to walk along the railway to reach Buendia station.

Engr. Rio Intorio, for his part, said that when the train receives a communication error, power is automatically cut off from the train.

“We are really baffled. We are still investigating,” Intorio said.

Capati said that they will inform the public as soon as they determine what caused the decoupling incident.

By Kristine Joy Patag

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