Asia

Taiwan’s transport minister accepts responsibility for train crash as questions mount


Taiwan’s transport minister mentioned on Sunday he wouldn’t shirk his duty for a lethal prepare crash at the same time as his resignation provide was rejected amid rising questions over security lapses that would have contributed to the catastrophe.

In the island’s worst rail accident in seven many years, 51 individuals have been confirmed useless after a packed specific prepare slammed right into a truck close to the japanese metropolis of Hualien on Friday, inflicting it to derail and the entrance half to crumple.

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Speaking on the crash website overlooking the ocean and backed by precipitous mountains, Lin Chia-lung mentioned he would “not avoid” duty.

“I am also in charge of minimizing the damage caused by the entire accident. After the whole rescue work is completed, I believe I will take the responsibility,” he mentioned.

Premier Su Tseng-chang’s workplace mentioned Lin had made a verbal provide to resign on Saturday, however Su rejected it in the intervening time, saying efforts for now ought to give attention to rescue and restoration.

The truck that the prepare hit had slid down a sloping street onto the observe simply exterior a tunnel. Officials are investigating the supervisor of the development website, Lee Yi-hsiang, whose truck is suspected of not having its brakes correctly utilized.

Lee had been launched on bail, although the excessive court docket’s Hualien department on Sunday rescinded that call after the prosecutors appealed it, sending the case again to the decrease court docket. Lee and his lawyer have declined to reply reporters’ questions.

Reuters was not instantly in a position to find contact particulars for Lee or his lawyer.

The transport ministry, and the rail administration which comes underneath it, are going through scrutiny over quite a few questions, together with why there was no correct fencing on the website and whether or not too many standing-only tickets had been offered.

Deputy transport minister Wang Kwo-tsai mentioned late on Saturday the railway administration wanted to take exhausting have a look at all these points, including that his private feeling was that “initially it looks like negligence” on the a part of the constructing website contractor.

The railway administration can be with out a everlasting director after its former chief retired in January. The place is being crammed in an performing capability by one other deputy transport minister, Chi Wen-chung.

Wang mentioned Lin was working exhausting to seek out the fitting individual to fill the job.

‘Daughter’s voice grew to become quieter and quieter’

The uncle of the youngest confirmed sufferer, a five-year-old woman, tearfully instructed reporters he was nonetheless ready for an apology for the accident.

“I’m so angry,” he mentioned.

The authorities has promised compensation and that it’ll do every thing it may well to assist survivors and their family.

The broken part of the observe won’t reopen till April 20 on the earliest, Wang mentioned, although rail site visitors continues on a parallel observe that runs by way of one other tunnel and was not affected by the accident.

Minister Lin mentioned rescue and restoration work would proceed.

“We continue to pull out the cabins stuck inside. The third cabin was dragged out last night. We expect to pull out two other cabins today,” he added.

The accident occurred in the beginning of a protracted weekend for the normal Tomb Sweeping Day, when individuals return house to are inclined to household graves.

Survivors have described horrible scenes contained in the wreck.

Priest Sung Chih-chiang instructed Reuters what surviving passenger Chung Hui-mei had instructed him.

“She could not find her daughter. When she yelled, she found her daughter was under the steel panels. She put her effort to move those pieces one by one, but her daughter’s voice became quieter and quieter, and then there was no response,” he mentioned.

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Taiwan prosecutors seek arrest warrant for suspect in deadly train crash



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