National News

Philippine train rams barrier, injuring scores

By Oliver Teves, The Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines - A Philippine commuter train rammed through a concrete barrier at the end of the rail line and rolled into a busy intersection on Wednesday, injuring scores of passengers and damaging vehicles, officials said.

Rescuers removed dozens of injured people from the train's front car after the accident in Pasay city in metropolitan Manila. Many suffered fractures and bruises, hospital officials said, but there were no reports of any deaths from the accident, which caused a huge traffic jam.

Hernando Cabrera, spokesman of the agency that operates the train system, said the train had a "technical problem" and lost power and was being pushed by another train when it became detached and rolled out of control into the concrete and steel barrier at the final station on the line.

Senior Superintendent Florencio Ortilla, who heads the Pasay city police, said the train toppled concrete posts and pushed a portion of the railway track out into the crowded intersection.

Many passengers were hurled toward the front of the train by the crash, police said.

Regina Santos said she and other passengers in the lead car had asked to be let off the train when it earlier stalled between two stations but the driver refused to open the doors. Another train later approached from the back and pushed the stalled train, she said.

"I stood by the door just in case," Santos, who was uninjured, told The Associated Press. "I prayed to God to save us."

The often-packed train system runs on an elevated track along EDSA highway, the busiest thoroughfare in the metropolis, and then goes down to street level as it approaches the final station, where the accident happened.

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