The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Metro Railway Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) management are looking into the possibility that yesterday's train detachment incident may have been a case of sabotage.
In a statement released by the agency earlier today, the agency said that an initial investigation found that the Messma card—which acts as a 'black box' recording device—of the train car involved in the incident was missing. What's more, the agency says there were no signs of electrical fault or mechanical damage to the coupler.
MRT-3 safety chief Ruel Jose, who led the initial investigation, suspects that "human intervention" may have been involved: "Imposibleng magkahiwalay ang coupler kung walang human intervention," he said.
"We ask: What is the motive? Who has the capability of removing the black box? Was this an attempt to cover up a mistake on the operation of Train No. 5? Or was there an effort to sabotage the entire operation?" the DOTr statement continues, adding that these questions will be addressed via a "proper and scrupulous" investigation.
Regarding calls to temporarily halt MRT-3 operations, the DOTr says it has already considered doing this as early as the first quarter of 2017. While the agency says it must take into consideration the commuters who take the train line on a daily basis, DOTr head Arthur Tugade says the option is still on the table: "Basta sa pagsisikap at kasiguruhan ng technical team na ligtas pa rin ang pagsakay sa MRT, tuloy pa rin ang byahe. Bagamat nandyan pa rin ang option na itigil pansamantala ang operation kung ito na talaga ang nararapat na gawin."
Do you buy the DOTr investigation's initial findings? Hopefully the agency can shed more light on the matter before another untoward incident takes place on the tracks.