MANILA (UPDATE 6) - A Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train overshot its track at the intersection of Taft Avenue and EDSA after uncoupling with another train that was pushing it forward.
Senior Superintendent Florencio Ortilla said “there were a lot of people” injured considering that the coach was packed and the incident happened during the rush hour, or past 3:00 p.m.
"The injured were already brought to the San Juan de Dios Hospital and Pasay General Hospital," he said.
He said the train hit the barrier of the MRT station. It will be impossible to remove quickly the coach there because "of its metal wheels and it totally derailed."
Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya said 36 people were injured.
The incident has caused heavy traffic in the area.
Ortilla asked commuters not to anymore enter the EDSA-Pasay and Taft Avenue-Roxas areas.
WOMEN, ELDERLY IN FIRST COACH
Ryan Pontejos, a witness who saw the incident, said he saw more than 10 people injured who have already been brought to the hospital.
"We heard a loud crash. We were scared because the front of the train was mostly women and old people," he said.
He said the number of injured also includes the driver of an SUV hit by the train.
More than an hour after the incident, commuters were still being brought out of the train, he said. "There is only one door being used where they can be brought out."
DZMM correspondent Zhander Cayabyab said witnesses told him the people in the first coach already “saw smoke” as the train made its way towards the Taft station coming from the Magallanes station.
He said the commuters there asked the driver to stop the train, but the latter could not because it was already treading near the last station.
Meanwhile, spokesman of Light Rail Transit Authority Hernando Cabrera said the train crashed into the barrier after being uncoupled with another train that was pushing it to the EDSA Taft station.
Based on initial information Malacanang received, the derailed train initially stalled between the Magallanes and Taft stations.
Following standard operating procedures, the train needed to be pushed by an oncoming train. The two trains’ link, however, was disconnected along the way. This caused the derailed train to go past the Taft platform.
Authorities are still investigating how the two trains became uncoupled.
MRT accident victims at the Pasay General Hospital:
1. Santos, Aileen, 24/f
2. Sosa, Avelina, 49/f
3. Sotelo, Richard, 23/m
4. Castillo, Nonalyn, 25/f
5. Rocero, Magdalena, 66/f
6. Mendoza, Gina Gahuman, 34/f
7. Sarte, Aleli Magdalena, 52/f
8. Deocareza, Cristina, 30/f
9. Conche, Ma. Cristina, 59/f
10. Alvarez, Rochelle, 31/f
11. De Los Rreyes, Veanne Lorraine, 7/f
12. Villanueva, Lorelie, 41/f
13. Francisco, Danilyn, 27/f
14. Guillermo, Zenaida, 65/f
15. Leonido, Jenelyn, 28/f
16. Rasoman, Amil, 42/m
17. Villanueva, Emmanuel, 19/m
18. Francisco, Hannah, 5/f
19. Santos, Mirasol 28/f
20. Khu, Ruel, 29/m
21. Delos Reyes, Glyza, 21/f
22. Dasalla, Remigio, 61/m
23. Galangue, Jonalyn, 30/f
24. Arduro, Lyndabird, 32/f
Victims at the San Juan De Dios hospital:
1.Villarica Ma. Fedeliv Pena, 51
2. Martinez, May 26.
3.Martinez Von Andrei, 6
4. Vasquez, Ethelinda, 55
5.Michael, Ablida, 47
6. Norminda F. Verzosa, 63
7. Krystel Ermita, 24
8. Bayan, Lorie, 24
9. Villarica, Vicente, 55
10. Calo, Margarita, 62
11. Genelene Ann C. Mejico, 25
12. Abelinda Michael Delos Santos, 49