Maricel Cruz | Manila Standard | April 25, 2017
A party-list lawmaker on Saturday accused the Metro Rail Transit-3 management of a cover-up on a near-fatal train mishap at North Ave. station on Tuesday.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said reports reaching his office showed that the incident was not reported to the public in an apparent effort to hide the negligence and inefficiency of maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail Inc.
Nograles said at around eight in the evening on Tuesday, a train's gearbox broke and snapped, causing a derailment in MRT-3 operations.
"This is equivalent to car’s axle which holds the wheels together," he said.
"This is the first case of derailment on MRT-3's whole service history and visit poster's website this is a very serious sign that the system is now in a state of serious disrepair and could already be unsafe for the riding public," Nograles added.
MRT-3 commuters, the lawmaker said, were spared from harm as the incident took place after the train offloaded passengers on the North Avenue Station.
"The management could only claim that the train system suffered a glitch. It turns out that this was more than a glitch because one of its trains was actually derailed due to a serious systems malfunction," Nograles said.
"It took the MRT at least four hours to put the wheels back on the track," he said.
Nograles said had it happened while the train was filled with passengers and was on a cruising speed, the result could have been disastrous.
"We were still fortunate that the train contained no passengers and the speed was slow. It could have had disastrous consequences if it was derailed while it was still filled with passengers," Nograles said.
Nograles recalled that almost three years ago, at least 38 passengers were injured when an MRT-3 train overshot the tracks at the Taft Avenue station due to apparent brake failure.
"What happened last Tuesday is more serious than what happened in 2014 when an MRT train overshot its tracks because the train was literally removed from its tracks. A lot of deadly scenarios can happen if the train was running on normal speed and was filled with passengers," Nograles said.