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LRT train runs with doors open

Lights along Taft Avenue are seen through the open doors of a moving Light Rail Transit train Thursday night in this image taken from a video posted by James Cubelo.

MANILA, Philippines - The Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) received flak from netizens after one of its trains was allowed to run on Thursday night even if its doors were open.

In two one-minute videos posted on Facebook by James Cubelo, 19, a graduating student of the Technological University of the Philippines, he likened the “crazy LRT experience” to a death-defying ride at an amusement park.

The videos, which showed the train running at full speed with its doors open, has had more than 1.2 million views; 36,000 likes and 37,000 shares as of yesterday.

 “Tumaas pamasahe kasi nga daw for the improvement tapos ganiyan (Fares were raised for improvement, then this happens)?” Facebook user Rohclem Metrop Arganda commented.

Cernan Oliveros said it is really “more fun in the Philippines.”

Cubelo and his friends had boarded the train at the Central Terminal station at around 6 p.m. when they noticed that the train started running even if the doors had not closed.

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He said the security guard at the station was aware that the train’s doors were not closed. “We were surprised when the guard told us to hang on tight,” Cubelo said in Filipino. 

He said due to the packed train, they were not able to get off at the next station to alert LRT officials. He did not try to press the emergency button because he did not know what it was for.

Cubelo said the LRT did not fix the problem until they reached the second station at Pedro Gil, where technicians only conducted “door testing.”

Despite the incident, Cubelo said he would still ride the LRT because he still saves time and money.

LRT-1 operations chief Rod Bolario said he considered the incident abnormal since the trains have a system that prevents them from running when the doors are open, ABS-CBN reported.

He said the spare parts of the 33-year-old train have deteriorated, but the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) conducted preventive maintenance “except on the doors” when it took over operating the rail line in September 2015.

Bolario said the driver was apparently not aware that the door was still open.

The LRMC apologized to the passengers who were on board the train and vowed to investigate the incident.

The LRT-1 carries an average of 400,000 passengers each day.  – With Louella Desiderio

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