Human error seen in MRT accident

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Aug 13 2014 10:01 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2014 08:54 AM

Gov’t will address needs of 36 injured, says Abaya

MANILA - Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Metro Rail Transit (MRT) operators are eyeing procedural error on the part of the drivers of the trains involved in the accident on Wednesday afternoon.

In an interview with TV Patrol, Abaya said the 2 drivers are now being questioned by the operating center and will be directed also to report to the police.

Malacanang ordered Abaya to check on the situation and come up with a full report.

Based on initial information he received, Abaya said a train reported technical problems near Magallanes on Wednesday afternoon.

“Based on standard operating procedures (SOP), the next train will have to drop off its passengers at the next station and then link to the stalled train,” he said .

Since the stalled train had been de-energized, the second train will then have to push it 15 kilometers per hour (kph) at most. The second train will also move to pull the brakes for the first train, he said.

“We are now checking where it went wrong. It could be that the two trains disengaged while they were running. It could also be that there were procedural errors -- that the trains have not been attached from the very start,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abaya assured the 36 commuters injured that the government will handle all their medical and hospital expenses.

He said the 34 were rushed to the San Juan de Dios Hospital, Pasay General Hospital, and Manila Sanitarium.

“There were no casualties. But I am not offering excuses that this happened. We will answer to their needs. The insurer, GSIS, is already in the site,” he added.

He added the MRT operations will not be affected even with the loss of one train.

“We’re operating on a three-train set. The first train needs heavy repairs. The second and third trains look intact… but certainly, we have not been deploying the trains to their limits. Some are under maintenance also,” he added.