Rail theft linked to PNR train mishap
Vandalism of state-owned tracks triggered the derailment of a Philippine National Railways (PNR) train in Makati City last Wednesday, a preliminary probe on the cause of the accident disclosed yesterday.
According to PNR general manager Joseph Allan Dilay, engineers deployed to the derailment site discovered missing parts of the tracks between Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Nichols stations.
“It looks like tracks were vandalized because there were missing angle bars, rail clips stolen, rail joints and about 2 meters of rail were cut,” he said.
As of noon yesterday, retrieval of the middle car of train 1507 was still on going. Clearing of tracks would follow shortly after the three-car train is retrieved from the derailment site.
As of press time, PNR has resumed operations but trains use single track between Pasay Road and FTI stations, causing longer travel for onboard passengers and longer queuing for passengers at the stations.
“We still have many track rehabilitation works that are ongoing. PNR track workers are doing everything to fix and restore the tracks and finish before our first trip tomorrow morning,” Dilay added.
Meanwhile, PNR spokesperson Paul de Quiroz said the number of injured passengers due to the accident has increased to 70 from the initial 35.
“The total number of passengers assisted by local DSWD and PNR is 70, but all with minor injuries. They underwent checkup and then discharged last [Wednesday] night,” de Quiroz explained.
PNR train 1507 listed on its way to Alabang, Muntinlupa at about 3:50 p.m. two days ago. It was not immediately clear how many passengers were onboard the three-car train when the accident happened.
The PNR operates the Metro South Commuter Line (MSCL), which ferries passengers daily between Tutuban in Manila to Calamba in Laguna. The MSCL transports between 70,000 to 120,000 passengers everyday.
The PNR also operates interprovincial trips between Manila to Naga until a Bicol Express train was derailed in Quezon province back in 2012.
While the Bicol Express trips are suspended, the PNR operates a Bicol Commuter Service (BCS) that carries commuters between Naga City and Sipocot.
MRT 3 hits snag anew Meanwhile at the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3, a southbound train was stuck between Kamuning and Cubao stations at about 6:35 a.m.yesterday, paralyzing train services between North Avenue and Shaw Boulevard, to the chagrin and great discomfort of thousand of rush hour commuters.
According to MRT general manager Roman Buenafe, the track brake of the train was dislodged from mounting, causing the train to attach to the tracks as part of its safety feature. The MRT 3 operations normalized at about 8:13 a.m.
“The defect was due to wear and tear. However, this could have been noticed during the systematic inspection of trains by our maintenance service provider,” Buenafe said, referring to the joint venture of Autre Porte Technique (APT) Global Inc. and Global Epcom Services, Inc.