MRT-3 passengers forced to walk railways or suffer from suffocation
MANILA, Philippines—Passengers of a northbound Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) train on Thursday evening were forced to walk along the railway at the Santolan station after the train suffered a technical glitch.
Guammer Partosa, one of the passengers of the defective MRT train, told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview, that the train suddenly stopped at the middle of the railway between Ortigas and Santolan stations at around 7:54 p.m.
Partosa said the MRT tried to re-start about nine times but failed to operate. He said that after its fifth attempt, power inside the MRT was shutdown including the air-conditioning system.
The train announcer, according to Partosa, only said, “Pasensiya na po at huminto po tayo (Pardon, we stopped).”
He said the train announcer also told the passengers not to open the doors.
Aside from that, he said passengers were left clueless inside the train for about 40 minutes.
The passengers then pressed the “signal button to the driver” but they received no response.
He said the dismayed passengers, who were already suffocated due to the intense heat inside the MRT, pulled the train lock to open the doors.
“We just wanted to breathe air,” he said, citing that MRT during rush hours are usually jampacked.
He said he and his fellow passengers were surprised that the other commuters on the other trains also did the same.
He told his fellow passengers not to get off from the train since it was too dark and it may be unsafe.
But the other passengers already unloaded from the train so the others followed.
He said the train was elevated from the railway so it was really difficult to get off especially for women and senior citizens.
After most already unloaded themselves from the MRT, the train announcer, he said, told them to get off since the train couldn’t re-start.
He said passengers walked from the middle of the railway going to the Santolan station.
He said that while some security personnel assisted them while they were already walking, help came too late and too slow.
As they arrived at the Santolan station, he said nobody even managed to pacify them or tell them where to go and what to do except for a train personnel who said their fees would be reimbursed.
“It was poorly managed. Nobody comforted us,” he said.
He said they were left with no choice but to take the bus at Edsa.
Though it was not his first time to experience a technical problem inside the MRT, he said, it was the worst.
According to him, he has been riding the train since college until now he is already working in Makati.
He said there were lapses on handling the situation and hopes that the MRT management would look into matter.
The incident has paralyzed the MRT-3 northbound operations.
As of posting time, INQUIRER.net is trying to contact the MRT-3 management for their reaction. TVJ
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