Authorities to probe LRT-2 collision that injured 34

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Investigators will look at the cause of a train collision that occurred between two trains of the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 2 near the Cubao and Anonas stations, which left 34 people injured Saturday evening. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — Investigators will look at the cause of a train collision that occurred between two trains of the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 2 near the Cubao and Anonas stations, which left 34 people injured Saturday evening.

LRT Authority Spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera said Sunday the agency will conduct a fact-finding investigation as soon as possible to determine how Train 13 moved on its own at around 9:51 p.m., more than seven hours after it was steered to a pocket track for a reported breakdown. He said they will commence the probe as soon as Monday morning, adding that everyone such as the maintenance provider, control center, operations department and emergency services will be subject to investigation.

Train 13, which Cabrera described as a “dead” or non-working train, was not left unmanned, having an operator who could not do anything on the moving train, but reported the incident.

Cabrera said the train operator of the approaching eastbound Train 18, which was carrying at least 150 passengers, was then warned, but it was still hit by the dead train before reaching the Anonas Station from Cubao.

Gumalaw siya, pumasok siya ngayon sa main line towards Cubao station,” Cabrera says. “Unfortunately, merong parating na tren coming from Cubao station.”

[Translation: The train entered the main line heading towards Cubao station. Unfortunately, it hit a train coming from the same station.]

Cabrera also defended the decision to hold the passengers of Train 18 for at least 30 minutes before moving them to the next station, saying that being inside the train is part of safety protocols.

“It’s very unsafe na pababain mo 'yung mga pasahero. Unknown 'yung factors, what happened, ano ba talaga ang nangyari. Pwedeng may nakalaylay doon na kable na may kuryente,” Cabrera said.

[Translation: It’s very unsafe to bring passengers down from the train at the time. It's possible that electric wires might be dangling on the rails.]

Cabrera also said that a report on the cause of the crash may be out by Monday or Tuesday.

Despite the jarring incident, he assured that the LRT-2, which was using a new, modern system, is safe for passengers. He said the collision was merely an "isolated" incident and not reflective of the trains' quality of operations.

Impact to commuters’ safety, train availability

As a result of the incident, the train line now only operates a total of 8 trainsets from the previous 10.

LRT-2 operations were suspended to give way for maintenance checks and clearing the two trains from the tracks.

Train operations resumed at around 10:47am.

However, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade says the loss of two trainsets has an effect in revenue operations.

This means, longer lines on train stations and fewer available trains.

“Natural may epekto ho 'yan. Pero titignan ho lahat 'yan, para nang sa ganoon, 'yung apekto sa operasyon ay hindi unnecessarily wide and deep,” Tugade said.

[Translation: It naturally has an effect. But we will see to it that effects on operations are not unnecessarily wide and deep.]

In the aftermath of the collision, the LRTA assured the public that the train line is safe, calling what happened an “isolated incident.”

The LRTA also says the two trains will be repaired and eventually returned to service.

Tugade also echoed the agency’s call, saying, “Dapat tignan natin, ang pangunahan natin ngayon, yung kaligtasan, 'yung kapakanan, 'yung comfort at assurances dun sa mga pasahero.”

[Translation: We should look into and prioritize the safety and comfort, as well as assuranced to passengers.]

This is the second time in less than a week that the LRT Line 2 was hounded by technical glitches.

On Thursday, an LRT-2 train’s overhead power connection (link to story) was hit by lightning, leaving passengers in Manila and Quezon City stranded in the middle of a thunderstorm.