DOTr not discounting sabotage of MRT ops


MANILA — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking at all possible angles, including sabotage, behind the detachment of a coach in the Ayala station of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) Thursday.

Initial results of the investigation being conducted by the MRT management show that there was no electrical fault nor mechanical failure of the detached coupler of the train coach.

“It is impossible that the coupler will be detached if there is no human intervention,” MRT-3 Safety Chief Technician Ruel Jose said.

It was also found that the Messma card which functions like a black box that records all applied interventions of the decoupled Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) # 68, the third car in Train No. 5, was missing.

“We ask: What is the motive? Who has the capability of removing the black box? Was this an attempt to cover up a mistake on the operation of Train No. 5? Or was there an effort to sabotage the entire operation? These questions are being addressed right now through proper and scrupulous investigation,” DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez said.

The DOTr also assured the riding public that it will address the safety issues of the MRT system.

It said MRT operations will continue amid calls for its temporary shutdown to fix its repeated glitches, and noted that it has been considering the proposal since the first quarter of the year.

“MRT operations will still continue as our technical team pursue efforts to address the safety of the passengers. We are still considering the option of temporarily suspending operations if necessary,” according to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Around 130 to 140 MRT passengers were unloaded and forced to walk through from Ayala to Buendia station after a train car was detached from its body while on a northbound trip Thursday morning. Aerol John Pateña/