^

Headlines

Abaya takes MRT; train emits smoke

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Smoke emanating from a southbound train of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) caused a scare among passengers even as Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya took a ride yesterday in an effort to vouch for the safety of the mass transit system.

Abaya led transport officials in riding the train from the Ortigas station to North EDSA at around 1 p.m. after a commuter train going south stalled in the morning at the Quezon Avenue station.

The train failed to unclamp for several seconds, causing friction in the train wheels and rail tracks.

This friction, according to Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) spokesman Hernando Cabrera, caused smoke to emit from the underside of the train, giving passengers a scare.

Cabrera said the train driver immediately decided to unload the passengers. After all the passengers disembarked, the driver was able to drive the train at 10:31 a.m. to Cubao station where it was made to reverse-track back to the MRT depot in North Avenue.

“There was a problem in the brakes, it was clamping continually at the tracks causing friction and smoke,” Cabrera explained.

Cabrera said the incident caused a two-minute disruption of services but only affected the particular train.

Cabrera stressed the incident was a “maintenance issue,” which means the maintenance contractor, Aure Porte Technique (APT) Global, would be penalized for the two-minute disruption.

“The penalty will just be deducted from their monthly billing,” he said.

Abaya, for his part, took the train ride going to the proposed site of the P1.4-billion MRT and Light Rail Transit (LRT) common station in front of Trinoma Mall as well as the proposed “mini station” in front of SM City North EDSA.

Abaya also went to the MRT-3 depot to observe maintenance work being undertaken on the mass transit system along EDSA.

Department of Transportation and Communications spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal said Abaya left North EDSA at around 2:15 p.m.

It was not known, however, if Abaya was informed of the incident involving another service disruption.

Critics had dared Abaya and other government officials to ride the mass transit system along EDSA to experience how commuters suffer long lines and overcrowded trains.

Abaya vowed to ride the MRT-3 after the Aug. 13 accident in Pasay City where a train overshot the station platform in Taft Avenue, injuring dozens of passengers.

Service disruptions were also experienced days after the accident due to the failure of the communications system as well as the flooding of tracks between the Ayala and Buendia stations last Wednesday.

Experts from MTR Hong Kong arrived Tuesday to inspect the mass transit system along EDSA.

To prevent a similar accident, the DOTC reduced the speed limit of MRT trains to 40 kilometers per hour from the previous limit of between 50 kph and 60 kph.

The government also vowed to monitor the strict observance of all safety and operational procedures and policies, including immediate evacuation of passengers to the nearest station.

It would also prioritize the review and upgrade of all safety and operational procedures, particularly with regard to hauling or coupling procedure, passenger evacuation and communication procedure. – Rainer Allan Ronda, Lawrence Agcaoili

 

ABAYA AURE PORTE TECHNIQUE AYALA AND BUENDIA CABRERA CITY NORTH DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS HERNANDO CABRERA HONG KONG LAWRENCE AGCAOILI TRAIN
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with