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At least 34 hurt as train derails in Philippines

Published on Aug 13, 2014 6:36 PM

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - At least 34 people were hurt after a wayward metro train derailed Wednesday afternoon after overshooting the barrier at a station in Manila's Pasay City.

Pasay City Mayor Antolino Calixto said as of the latest count, 34 passengers were hurt in the accident.

Pasay Police Chief Senior Superintendent Florencio Ortilla said 10 people were rushed to the San Juan de Dios Hospital.

At the Pasay General Hospital, 21 passengers were admitted for treatment and three at the Manila Adventist Hospital.

A video of the accident obtained by showed some passengers scampering to safety.

“Definitely there were some that suffered fractures,” Mr Calixto said.

Witnesses said the front part of the train – which usually carries women, children and the elderly and the disabled – punched through the wire and concrete fence of the station before resting on northbound side of Taft Avenue.

The driver of the train is currently with MRT officials, Mr Calixto said.

Mr Hernando Cabrera, spokesman of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), said in a radio interview that the train, which stalled between Magallanes and Taft Avenue stations due to a power problem, was being pushed by another train, but the coupling that should have locked the two trains got unbuckled.

Mr Cabrera said the defective train, which gained momentum after the initial push, broke away and overshot the "wall stopper" (barrier) at Taft Avenue Station.

"We are checking if human error (caused the accident) or not ," Mr Cabrera added.

It is also worth noting that the rail tracks from Magallanes to Taft Avenue stations slope downward.

Despite the accident, the MRT was still operational but the management said passengers should expect delays.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority advised motorists to expect heavy traffic along the Edsa Taft intersection while the authorities clear the area.