According to MRT 3 spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera, Train 003-B carrying southbound passengers was stalled between Magallanes and Taft Avenue station after losing power supply past 4 p.m. Wednesday.
As part of the railway standard operating procedure, Cabrera said the defective train had to be pushed to the nearby station by the next oncoming train. The two trains had to be coupled or linked together but along the way, the coupling disconnected.
“Ang nangyari, nung tinutulak na siya papuntang Taft, natanggal yung coupling. Kumalas yung link, umusad mag-isa yung train since wala siyang power, di makapagbrake hanggang sa umabot siya sa Taft at bumangga sya sa stopper. Tinamaan at nawasak yung stopper, nasira rin yung harap ng train,” Cabrera told reporters.
The official confirmed that the accident caused injuries to the passengers on-board the defective train.
“Dahil sa biglang bangga, may mga injured na pasahero. Now we are trying to determine the number of injured passengers and the extent of their injuries,” he said.
Various news reports put the number of injured passengers to 34, which were individually rushed to San Juan de Dios Hospital, Pasay City General Hospital and Manila Adventist Medical Center for emergency medical attention.
In the meantime, Cabrera said MRT 3 personnel are investigating the cause of the accident.
“Ang issue diyan ay yung coupling. Bakit natanggal yung pagkakakabit? Yan ang gusto naming imbistigahan. Is it human error o technical problem?” he said.
The operation of the MRT 3 line, which runs the length of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), was temporarily suspended but it eventually normalized at about 5:15 p.m.
“We are running southbound and northbound (trains) but expect delay approaching Taft Avenue because we are utilizing single tract in reversing,” the MRT 3 announced via its Twitter account @dotcmrt_3 at about 5:15 p.m.
In the meantime, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has instructed the MRT 3 management to assist the passengers injured by the derailment accident in Taft Avenue.
“Secretary Abaya has instructed MRT 3 to assist the injured passengers right away while he inspects the site and gets a full report on the accident,” DoTC spokesperson Atty. Michael Sagcal said.
Meanwhile, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had asked operators of city buses to ferry serve MRT passengers affected by the accident.