Prosecutors seek arrest after a train wreck that killed 50 people

Rescue team removes passenger car north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2021

Rescue team is removing the rear vehicle of the train outside the tunnel

Taiwanese prosecutors want to arrest a construction site manager suspected of causing a train wreck in which a truck killed at least 50 people.

The train struck a heavy truck as it slipped onto the railroad tracks from the scene, trapping hundreds of debris for hours.

The train from the capital Taipei to Taitung was full of people traveling to celebrate Taiwan’s tomb cleaning holidays.

The accident on Friday is the worst railroad disaster on the island in decades.

It happened just as the train entered the tunnel north of Hualien. The rescue team combed a badly damaged carriage in the tunnel and found a survivor. Some of the survivors broke the windows and ran away.

The train was full, so many of the nearly 500 passengers may have stood.

Rescue team removes passenger car north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2021

Rescue team removes passenger car north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2021

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

President Tsai Ing-wen visited Hualien’s hospital on Saturday and said, “I visited the injured and expressed sympathy for the victims’ families.”

“I would like to express my condolences to the victims’ families,” she added. “We are definitely doing our best to deal with funeral issues. Now hospitals are also doing their best to deal with injured people.”

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Investigators stay at the scene of collecting evidence.

The Ministry of Justice told reporters Saturday that the prosecutor had requested an arrest warrant from the construction site manager. The undesignated manager faces the charges of negligent death and document forgery.

“Prosecutors will definitely strengthen the investigation and understanding of other suspects involved in crimes and cases,” said Lin Jin Tsun.

The court will approve the warrant later on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the recovery team has begun removing the rear car of the train, which was relatively intact. The fire chief said he expected more bodies to be trapped in the broken front of the train in the tunnel.

“Sudden and violent shock”

The crash occurred around 09:00 local time (GMT 01:00) on Friday.

Some people behind the train were able to leave unharmed, but 100 people were rescued from the first four cars. Many of the dead, injured, and trapped were in four crumpled carriages in the front.

“I felt like there was a sudden and violent shock, and I noticed that I was lying on the floor,” a female survivor told UDN in Taiwan. “We broke the window and climbed up and down the train roof.”

People walking next to a derailed train in a tunnel north of Hualien, Taiwan, April 2, 2021

The photo shows people in a low-impact carriage walking along the railroad tracks with their belongings.

Another rescued woman said, “The whole body fell to the floor. I hit my head and started bleeding.”

A 50-year-old survivor told Apple Daily that he saw many people trapped under his seat and saw corpses everywhere he got out of the carriage.

According to local media reports, the train driver is among the dead.

Rescue team removes passenger car north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2021

Rescue team removes passenger car north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2021

The image shows a large yellow flatbed truck next to the truck. A construction project is underway near the northern end of the tunnel.

It is unknown how the vehicle slipped down the embankment.

Survivors on stretchers

Other photos show people walking along the railroad tracks with their belongings while evacuating from a less affected carriage.

Other survivors were carried away on stretchers with their necks in braces.



Many on the train are believed to have traveled to celebrate the Qingming Festival. At this festival, people pay homage to the dead by visiting family graves, cheering them up and dedicating them to their spirits.

The death toll from train accidents in Taiwan is the highest in 1973. In 1948, in Taipei’s Xindian District, passengers brought combustibles to the train, causing a fire that burned four cars and killed 64 people.