MRT coach to Ayala detaches, no injuries but train skeds changed
Metro Rail Transit 3 management on Thursday said they are still investigating an incident where one of their train coaches detached from the rest of the unit.
"We are still investigating the cause of its detachment," said MRT Director for Operations Mike Capati in a televised briefing.
Around 9:03 am, over 100 MRT-3 passengers were unloaded at Buendia-Ayala Avenue after the driver found out he was driving two cars instead of the usual three. No injuries were reported. Passengers operation were resumed to normal around 9:30 am.
According to Reynaldo Ano, the driver, he received a communication error message as he was going to Buendia station.
"Upon arriving at Buendia, I saw on my mirror that I'm only driving two cars. Then I called the control to secure the train and inform the passengers that we had a technical problem," Ano said.
According to their initial investigation, MRT officials said they didn't saw any electrical or mechanical fault.
But late Thursday, Transport Undersecretary for Rail Cesar Chavez said a vital piece of equipment was missing on the decoupled Light Rail Vehicle 68, according to a report by the MRT management.
The missing equipment, a Messma Card, "is like a black box, recording all applied interventions," said Chavez in a Viber message.
MRT officials do not know how the two coaches were able to continue operating after the third coach was was detached.
"If it detached (from the other coach), it ( coach) will brake automatically, it will stop," one of the technical assistant of MRT, Ruel Jose, said.
Jose said as they look at all angles on why the incident transpired, he said there is a possibility of a human intervention.
"Who has the motive? Who has the opportunity? Who has the capability of the black box? Is the motive to simply cover up the mistake of the train operation of Index No.5 or part of an effort to sabotage the entire operation? These are some of the questions that the team is looking into," said Chavez.
The MRT officials reiterate that it is safe to ride the trains but it added it was adopting a new schedule so there is more time to examine trains. Service will start at 5:30 am starting Friday instead of 5:00 am and the last train will be at 10:30 pm instead of 11 pm.
MRT-3 is being run by a composite team of experts from the Light Rail Transit Authority and Philippine National Railways after the Department of Transportation terminated the service agreement of Busan Universal Rail Inc ( BURI) on Nov 6 due to frequent interruptions.
Some employees of BURI were also retained by the department. Ella Dionisio/DMS