7 hurt in MRT3 mishap
MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – Seven Metro Rail Transit Line 3 personnel were hurt after two MRT3 maintenance trains collided between Buendia and Guadalupe Stations a couple of hours before the start of operations Wednesday morning, September 26.
The MRT3 personnel, involved in maintenance and security operations, sustained varying degrees of injury and were brought to the Victor R Potenciano Medical Center in Mandaluyong City for treatment, MRT3 management said.
In a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, MRT3 director Michael Capati said one worker, Rogelio Piamonte, was in the intensive care unit and might need to undergo surgery on his shoulder. He sustained a fracture on his right shoulder and pelvis.
MRT3 identified the rest of the injured personnel as follows:
- Joseph Cyril Ursua - head laceration
- Rengie Velarde - nasal laceration
- Alex Lomigo - trauma at the back
- Randy Bolilan - head injury
- Eric Anthony Cabbab - head trauma and fracture at cheekbone and left arm
- Ramil Malibiran - trauma on right knee
They were moved to private rooms for further observation, while Malibiran was discharged at 11 am on Thursday.
The MRT3 management said it would shoulder all medical expenses of the injured personnel. It earlier said 6 personnel were hurt in the accident, but later updated the number to 7.
The two maintenance trains collided around 3 am, and were removed from the rail tracks around 4:20 am. This delayed the placement of trains in preparation for the start of operations by an hour or at 5:30 am, instead of the usual 4:30 am.
Operations started at around 6 am with 8 trains. By 6:40 am, 14 trains were running. The Department of Transportation deployed buses to help augment passenger volume at the stations.
Capati said that there was a communication lapse between the driver and the control personnel.
“Bago po ako umalis sa station, I need to call up our control kasi sila nagmamaniobra kung sino dapat umalis at ‘di dapat umalis. Lumalabas po na hindi nakapag-radio ‘yung driver noong Unimog (maintenance vehicle) na nakabangga sa OCS (overhead catenary system). But we are still finalizing the [report], kasi 'yung iba medyo puyat di na makausap,” Capati said.
(Before I leave the station, I need to call up our control because they would signal who should or should not leave the station. It appears that the maintenance vehicle driver that crashed the OCS was not able to able to announce via radio. But we are still finalizing the report, because we couldn’t talk to some of them as they lacked sleep.)
Capati explained that the blind spot between the stations kept the driver of the incoming vehicle to see that another vehicle was still conducting maintenance works in the area.
Capati said that the driver of the incoming vehicle was able to grab the brakes but the weight of the truck kept it from coming to a full stop.
Capati said they are still investigating the incident, and will impose sanctions if warranted.
To prevent another accident, he said that they would ask for additional signages in the area where the accident happened. Capati said they would also add a checkpoint and additional people at the control facility when there are repair works.
On Monday, September 24, operations were also delayed due to "additional pre-insertion checks."
Japan's Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has yet to take over as the new maintenance provider. Sumitomo-MHI built and designed the MRT3 railway system from 1998 to 2000, and maintained it until 2012.
Since the year started, the MRT3 has broken down 65 times and experienced a record low of 6 running trains back in February. (READ: MRT3 suffers almost daily breakdowns since start of 2018)
An average of 14 to 15 trains operate daily, with some 340,000 people served. – Rappler.com