Taiwan Prosecutors to charge site manager

2021-04-03 at 11:26

Prosecutors in Taiwan want to arrest a construction site manager whose lorry is suspected of causing a train crash in which at least 50 people died.

The train hit the lorry when it slid onto the tracks from the site, trapping hundreds in the wreckage for hours.

The train, travelling from the capital Taipei to Taitung, was packed with people travelling to celebrate Taiwan’s Tomb Sweeping holiday.

Yesterday’s accident is the island’s worst railway disaster in decades.

It happened as the train was passing through a tunnel just north of Hualien. Rescuers combed badly damaged carriages inside the tunnel to find survivors, some of whom smashed windows to flee.

Many of the nearly 500 passengers on board may have been standing because the train was so full.

Today, salvage crews started moving the rear carriages which remained relatively undamaged outside the tunnel. The more seriously damaged carriages remain inside the tunnel.

The 408 train is one of the fastest deployed on a network that is generally considered safe. It can reach speeds of 130km/h (80mph).

President Tsai Ing-wen visited a hospital in Hualien on Saturday “to visit our wounded and express my sympathy to the families of the victims,” she said.

“I would like to express my condolences to the families of the victims,” she added. “We will definitely do our best to help deal with the funeral issue. At present, the hospitals are also doing their best to deal with the wounded and will give the best care for [them].”