Taiwan Looking for Truck Driver Who Could Have Caused Train Crash | NOW

Andrew Cummings
April 4, 2021

The authorities say the truck slid about 20 meters before the train crashed into it and derailed.

The train, with nearly 500 people aboard, was travelling from Taipei, the capital, to Taitung on the east coast when it derailed in a tunnel just north of the city of Hualien. The site manager is suspected of not having applied the brakes correctly.

Forty-eight people were killed on Friday in a deadly train derailment in Taiwan's Hualien county, authorities said, adding the track on which the fatal accident occurred will take seven days to fix.

The train was carrying 494 people at the start of a long holiday weekend on Friday when it smashed into the construction truck, the Taiwan Railways Administration said. The driver of the eight-car train was charged with negligent murder.

The Hualien district court initially allowed Lee to post bail of 500,000 new Taiwan dollars (US$17,516), but that decision was reversed Sunday when a higher court in Hualien rescinded the lower court's decision to allow bail, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

The court said that while the truck's fall into the path of the train possibly resulted from negligence, there was "no possibility of conspiracy".

Lee's court-appointed lawyer declined to comment to reporters as he left the court.

After dozens of people lost their lives in what can be called one of the deadliest train accidents in the last decade, China extended condolences to the families of the victims.

Meanwhile, recovery teams have begun removing the rear carriages of the train which were relatively unscathed. Other mangled sections remained in the tunnel, where fire department official Wu Liang-yun said more bodies were likely to be found.

President Tsai ing-wen visited injured people and victims' families in Hualien.

Images show a large, yellow flatbed truck lying at the side of the tracks.

Flags across the island are being be flown at half mast for three days.

"When such a thing happens, I feel very sorry and I will take full responsibility", Lin said after touring the site.

"We have asked the Transportation Safety Committee to conduct a strict investigation of the accident, and after fully clarifying the cause of the accident, we will explain it to everyone", Tsai told reporters Friday.

The TRA on Saturday said it would review its ticket policy as 120 passengers had standing tickets when the derailment occurred on the first day of a four-day break for Taiwan's annual tomb-sweeping tradition, which sees many Taiwanese people return home to pay tribute to their ancestors and clean up family tombs.

Taiwan has no domestic travel curbs as the COVID-19 pandemic is well under control, with only 43 active cases in hospital.

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