Thieves preying on PNR tracks—official
Railroad tracks of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) have been found missing important parts after falling prey to thieves, an official said after an initial probe.
“There are missing ball bars on the joints,” said Lito Nierva, operations manager and spokesperson of the PNR in a radio interview Wednesday morning.
The missing track parts, aggravated by the hot weather which expanded the rails, are eyed as the cause for the derailment on April 29 of a train in Taguig City, Nierva said. At least 50 passengers were reportedly hurt in the incident.
Nierva spoke a day after PNR crews finished inspecting rail tracks from Tutuban in Manila to Calamba in Laguna. He stressed that he was referring to initial and unofficial findings of the agency’s inspection team.
Asked for possible reasons behind the missing parts, the PNR official said, “Personally, I believe ninakaw yan.” (They were stolen.)
He said the PNR was seeking the help of local governments that host their tracks in preventing thieves from stealing parts of the railway.
The April 29 derailment has led to the PNR management to indefinitely suspend operations in order for their crews to inspect the rail line from Manila to Laguna and ensure the safety of their trains and passengers.
After the inspection, PNR would repair damaged tracks or replace missing rail track parts, Nierva said.
Nierva said they would try to finish the repairs within the week.
According to him, the PNR has been losing P1 million in revenues for each day that operations are suspended. That is on top of the inconvenience that commuters endure every day during which they are forced to take slower but more expensive means of transportation. CB