SCORES of passengers were hurt when a defective Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train overshot the station at Taft Avenue in Pasay City and crashed into a street barrier.
Several passengers were trapped when the train lost power between the Magallanes and Taft stations due to a technical problem. Because it had lost power, the train had to be pushed by another train into the Taft station.
The incident triggered a stampede in the crowded train station.
Aside from MRT passengers, pedestrians were also injured when they were hit by flying debris.
Red Cross personnel who attended to the injured passengers said more than 20 persons had to be taken to the San Juan de Dios Hospital and Pasay City General Hospital.
Because of the incident, train operations were halted.
“We are currently undergoing necessary intervention for the technical problem encountered. We apologize for the inconvenience,” the MRT management said on Twitter.
Initial investigation showed that MRT personnel managed to get the passengers off the train just before the crash.
The train, however, suddenly went out of control as it was being maneuvered into the depot. It crossed the safety line and crashed.
In an interview over dzBB, MRT spokesman Hernando Cabrera said the defective train stopped between the Magallanes and Taft stations.
“Dahil walang power yung isa, yung magtutulak na train yung magko-control, magbe-brake, at magpa-power up. Ang nangyari, nung tinutulak na siya papuntang Taft, na-uncouple. Kumalas yung cable, umusad mag-isa yung train since wala siyang power, di makapag-brake hanggang sa umabot siya sa Taft at bumangga siya sa stopper. Tinamaan, nawasak yung stopper, nasira rin yung harap ng tren [Because (the defective train) had no power, the train pushing it was the one that should have controlled and powered it up. What happened was when the train was being pushed to Taft, the (cable) uncoupled, and the defective train continued to move on its own until it reached Taft (station) and crashed into the stopper. The front of the train was damaged], ” Cabrera added.
Reports said at least nine persons were taken to San Juan de Dios Hospital.
Some passengers of the defective MRT train said they saw a spark while the train was passing the Magallanes station in Makati City.
More than 600,000 commuters take the 17-kilometer MRT 3 every day.
WITH ROSALIE C. PERIABRAS