At least 8 hurt as train makes sudden stop: MRT chief

Posted at 03/26/14 12:55 PM

MANILA (2ND UPDATE) -- At least 8 passengers were injured after a southbound Metro Rail Transit (MRT 3) train from Guadalupe station made a sudden stop on Wednesday morning, MRT general manager Al Vitangcol said.

Speaking to radio dzMM, Vitangcol said only 8 people, and not 10 as earlier reported by Makati Police Chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lucban, were hurt in the incident.

Vitangcol also said that the mishap was not caused by a technical problem but by human error.

He said the driver of Train No. 1, Car No. 14 accelerated southbound despite the red light status at the Guadalupe station at around 10:50 a.m.

He said there was clearly a lapse on the part of the driver, who has been in the service for 6 months, since a red light means that there is still no clearance from the MRT's control center for the train to leave the station.

"Habang naka-red pa ito ay nag-accelerate na ang ating train driver bago niya pa makuha ang clearance from the control center," he said. "Ang sabi niya kasi ina-anticipate na niya na bibigyan siya ng clearance so na-accelerate na niya."

Vitangcol said the acceleration of the driver triggered the train system's emergency brake. He said the automatic train protection system is a built-in safety feature of MRT 3.

"And unang ginagawa nito kapag may runaway train, bine-brake niya ito automatically," he said.

But after the incident, the train still resumed its operations.

Upon reaching the Ayala station, 4 injured passengers alighted the train and sought help. Four more alighted at the Magallanes station, he said.

According to Vitangcol, the passengers only sustained minor injuries. They were brought to the Makati Medical Center for treatment.

Records at the Makati Medical Center, however, showed that 9 injured passengers were brought to the hospital.

One of them was Mary Joy Tallada, who boarded a southbound MRT train in Cubao station. She said their trip was also affected by the accident.

Tallada told dzMM that she and several passengers were also thrown inside the coach when the train made a sudden stop in Ortigas area. -- With reports from Dennis Datu, dzMM; Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News