By Alexandria San Juan
Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade has vowed to penalize those responsible for the collision of two trains on Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) between Cubao and Anonas Stations that hurt more than 30 passengers and train personnel on Saturday night.
“Ang gusto ko, alamin dapat kung ano ang nangyari at sabihin sa akin nang diretsahan, (What I want is to know what really happened and tell me) is this an accident? Is this a freak accident? If so, say it and why? Was there negligence? If so, tell me so that I can run after those who committed negligence. Uusigin ko talaga kayo (I will really persecute you),” Tugade said in a media briefing on Monday.
Tugade reiterated that he wanted” clear and unequivocal answers” on the reason behind the collision that injured at least 34 people including four LRT-2 personnel.
Following the crash, a fact-finding committee was immediately formed by Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya on Sunday to determine the cause of the collision of the two coaches.
The transportation chief pointed out that the incident served as a “wake-up call” to revisit the agency’s policies and procedures in operating the LRT-2.
“Tinitingnan namin ito bilang wake-up call o lesson, nang sa gayon ay hindi na maulit… Pinangako namin ang comfort and convenience ng mga pasahero kaya’t dapat protektado ang mga mananakay. Dapat laging una ang kanilang kaligtasan at seguridad (We consider this as a wake-up call or lesson, so it will never happen again… We promise the comfort and convenience of passengers so they must be protected. Their safety and security must always be prioritized),” he explained.
The DOTr chief reiterated that the Department, together with the LRTA, was taking the incident seriously, and exerting all efforts to prevent its recurrence.
In an earlier report from the LRTA, it showed that a train parked at an inclined position on a pocket track near Anonas Station suddenly moved, and careened downward on the eastbound track going to Cubao.
The erstwhile parked train, which authorities claimed was under maintenance, collided with an oncoming train coming from Cubao Station with passengers on board.
Transport officials assured the injured passengers that all expenses including medical bills, check-ups, and resulting loss of income will be reimbursed by the LRTA and DOTr.