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Metal on tracks leaves LRT passengers stranded

May 28, 2009 8:47am
MANILA, Philippines - Several commuters of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) were stranded early Thursday after a piece of metal fell on a portion of the LRT tracks along Taft Avenue.

LRT administrator Melquiades Robles said the incident forced them to halve their operations, cutting service from Central Station to Baclaran in southern Metro Manila.

"To Baclaran wala muna, ina-assess pa natin ang damage [Operations from Central Station to Baclaran will be out for the moment. We are still assessing the damage]," Robles said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Robles gave no timetable on when operations would return to normal.

Citing initial reports from a train operator, he said the incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m., where a piece of metal fell on the tracks near the Taft Avenue station.

He said the initial reports indicated the piece of metal was big that four men would have difficulty moving it.

Robles theorized the metal may have fallen from a nearby building that is still under construction.

"Walang witness sa actual na pagbagsak. Dumadaan ang train operator, may nakitang foreign object. Ina-assess namin ang extent ng damage baka may permanent damage [There was no witness, and a train operator who passed through the area reported a foreign object on the rails. We have to assess if there is permanent damage]," he said.

A separate report on dzXL radio said the metal came from a building under construction near Pedro Gil Street.

The report said the metal hit and damaged the itinerary power supply that powers the LRT’s coaches.

The report said passengers stranded at Quirino and Pedro Gil stations were forced to jostle for other public utility vehicles such as taxis and jeeps. - GMANews.TV