Truck owners behind the deadly Taiwan Railways clash apologize

Taipei, Taiwan — The owner of a construction truck, which caused the worst railroad accident in Taiwan in decades and killed 48 people, was taken away from his home by police on Sunday and apologized in tears. According to the government’s disaster relief center, the emergency braking of unmanned trucks was not working properly.

An investigation is underway on Friday from a nearby construction site on the mountain coast of eastern Hualien County on how Lee Eishan’s vehicle slipped onto the railroad tracks. The truck hit a passenger car carrying 494 people, derailed shortly before entering the tunnel, and crushed many passengers in the broken passenger car.

After the rescue team first said 51, the death toll was revised to 48 on Sunday, after which 50 died. A spokesman for the Central Emergency Response Center said the changes were made after some body parts were found to belong to an individual. At least 198 people were injured.

Lee Seung-yuop, who is also a construction site, said, “We sincerely apologize for causing casualties in the Taiwan Railways Administration’s Taroko Train No. 480 in this year’s Qingming Festival.” Manager, his words were muffled by face masks and emotions. “I fully cooperate with and take responsibility for the authorities’ investigation.”

Train accident
On April 3, 2021, a worker is standing in front of a derailed train near Taroko Gorge in Hualien City, Taiwan. (Chiang Ying-ying / AP Photo)

A Hualien County prosecutor had previously said he was seeking an arrest warrant for the owner of the truck, who was cross-examined along with several others.

The Hualien District Court initially allowed Lee to pay a bail of Taiwan $ 500,000 ($ 17,516), but the decision was canceled on Sunday as the Hualien High Court revoked the decision to grant bail to the lower courts. The Taiwan Central News Agency reported.

Traveling by train is popular during Taiwan’s four-day grave cleaning vacation. On this vacation, families often return to their hometowns to pay homage to the elders’ graveyards. It is also an opportunity to take a vacation.

Taiwan is a mountainous island, with most of its 24 million people living on the flatlands of the island’s farmlands, metropolitan areas and the north and west coasts, home to most of the high-tech industry. The eastern part of the country, where the crash occurred, is a popular tourist destination, and the railroad is known for its beautiful natural scenery.

By Huizhong Wu