Poe calls out DOTr to focus on ‘overall safety’ of MRT
The recent accident at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) involving a 24-year-old woman, whose arm was cut off after she fell on a train gap, could have been prevented if a passenger railing safety feature was in place, Senator Grace Poe said on Wednesday.
In a statement, Poe lamented that the alleged “self-accident” last Tuesday “was a very unfortunate incident” but called out officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to now focus on the overall safety of the ailing train line.
“What happened was a very unfortunate incident that could have been prevented with a passenger railing safety feature,” Poe said.
“But right now, the DOTr should focus on the overall safety of the MRT, which could impact a larger number of people in case a serious technical glitch strikes,” she added.
In an early Wednesday surgery, doctors were able to reconnect Angeline Fernando’s arm, which got separated from her body after she fell on the gap of the second and third train cars at the northbound platform of Ayala station on Tuesday afternoon.
But apart from the said accident, Poe pointed out that the riding public continues to face many other structural and technical problems of the MRT-3.
“In reality, the riding public faces so many of the MRT’s structural and technical time bombs that put in serious doubt the DOTr’s assurance that it is still safe to ride these trains,” she said.
Poe cited several examples of MRT hitches – the signaling system of the rails, which she said is “incompatible with the Dalian trains purchased by the previous administration”; and the “defective and broken rails” that have yet to be fully replaced by the agency.
“While many of the woes began with the past administration, the current problems are now in the hands of the DOTr. If they are earnest and sincere in addressing these problems, then they should work faster on bettering our train system,” the senator noted.
Earlier, DOTr Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez said that while the MRT-3 staff and security officers were trained to respond to emergencies, they would still investigate the MRT-3 management’s response during Tuesday’s mishap involving Fernando. /kga
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