Billboard falls on MRT railway

- Sandy  Araneta () - September 23, 2005 - 12:00am
Operations of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) were partially disrupted yesterday after a billboard fell on the railway’s power lines near the Cubao station.

Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) spokesman Mariano Gui said strong winds destroyed a billboard tarpaulin, which fell and got caught in the power lines at 10:45 a.m.

The tarpaulin was then dragged by a northbound train that had just passed the Cubao station.

Witnesses said the pintograph of the last coach hit the tarpaulin as it passed the portion of the tracks near the Viron Bus terminal. The train stopped when the coach’s roof caught fire, cutting the cantenary line.

The cantenary wire supplies power to the railway, while the train’s pintograph acts as an antenna that transfers power to the train.

More than a hundred passengers were told to disembark from the train and walked toward the station.

MRTC General Manager Roberto Lastimoso said there were partial train operations from the Taft Avenue station in Pasay City up to the Shaw Boulevard station, on both northbound and southbound lanes. 

More than 350,000 passengers a day ride the trains of the MRT.

Maanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) called on local government units to strictly regulate advertising and promotional billboards being put up along major roads following yesterday’s incident.

"This is one of our greatest fears, billboards falling down on EDSA which can cause a lot of trouble," MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando said.

Fernando said the MMDA can only act against billboards if they are on sidewalks and in violation of the road right of way, but cannot dismantle those erected above private property.

The MMDA has long expressed concern over EDSA’s huge billboards because of the dangers they pose.

Last year, the metal structure of one of the billboards on EDSA in Guadalupe, Makati City collapsed and damaged vehicles parked below. – With Michael Punongbayan

CHAIRMAN BAYANI FERNANDO CUBAO GENERAL MANAGER ROBERTO LASTIMOSO MAKATI CITY MARIANO GUI METRO RAIL TRANSIT CORP METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OPERATIONS OF THE METRO RAIL TRANSIT PASAY CITY SHAW BOULEVARD TAFT AVENUE
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