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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Taiwan Crash Investigators Give attention to How Truck Fell in Practice’s Path

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HUALIEN, Taiwan — Two days after Taiwan’s deadliest rail catastrophe in many years, investigators have been engaged on Sunday to find out why a truck had slipped downhill from a building website into the trail of an specific practice, ensuing within the collision and derailment that killed dozens of individuals.

The operator of the crane truck, Lee Yi-hsiang, was ordered detained on Sunday by a decide, who reversed an earlier determination to grant him bail. Mr. Lee, who has not been charged with against the law, informed reporters he had precipitated the crash and mentioned he would take full duty for it.

“I hereby specific my deep remorse and my sincerest apologies,” Mr. Lee mentioned, his voice choking as he bowed in apology.

However investigators have been nonetheless making an attempt to find out whether or not Mr. Lee had uncared for to make use of the emergency brake, or if the truck had malfunctioned not directly. Mr. Lee informed reporters on Saturday that he had engaged the brake.

Different points of the catastrophe have been additionally being investigated. Officers mentioned they have been making an attempt to find out precisely when the driving force of the practice utilized the brake earlier than the collision.

Officers mentioned on Sunday that fifty folks had been killed within the crash of the eight-car Taroko Specific, which derailed and slammed right into a tunnel wall after hitting the truck on Friday. The practice was packed, carrying 498 folks on the primary day of a protracted vacation weekend.

The authorities had beforehand put the dying toll at 51. Figuring out victims has been a gradual and tough course of, and emergency personnel have been nonetheless making an attempt on Sunday to extricate wreckage from the tunnel and get better the stays of victims. Thirty-seven survivors of the crash have been nonetheless hospitalized on Sunday, officers mentioned.

Some survivors and family of the useless have proven extra grief than anger. Taiwan’s final critical practice crash, in 2018, was discovered to have been attributable to driver’s negligence, however preliminary impressions have been that the collision on Friday was one thing extra like a freak accident.

Some members of the family mentioned they didn’t wish to assign duty for the catastrophe earlier than the federal government had completed its investigation, which the authorities mentioned would take about two months.

“I don’t wish to blame anybody,” Wu Ming-yu, 68, mentioned on Sunday, as she sat with members of the family below a tent at a funeral residence in Hualien, a metropolis south of the crash website on Taiwan’s east coast. They have been ready for a mortuary make-up artist to complete work on the physique of Ms. Wu’s daughter, Huang Chiao-ling, a 35-year-old nurse who had been on her strategy to see her household.

Nonetheless, Ms. Wu mentioned she was involved that the development website could have fallen in need of security requirements. “You need to guarantee the security of the development, as a result of in case you don’t you’ll find yourself hurting different folks,” mentioned Ms. Wu.

The development undertaking had been commissioned by Taiwan’s transportation ministry to enhance the security of the slope close to the crash website, which occurred on a steep mountainside on the Pacific coast. It was half of a bigger, six-year plan to boost railway security in Taiwan. Mr. Lee, the operator of the crane truck, was additionally the undertaking’s website supervisor.

“It’s ironic and really unlucky,” mentioned Yusin Lee, a professor of civil engineering and director of the Middle for Railway Research at Nationwide Cheng Kung College within the southern metropolis of Tainan. “It’s a reminder that even when we’ve safety-targeted building initiatives, we nonetheless must maintain security in thoughts.”

At a information convention on Sunday, officers mentioned that Lee Yi-hsiang could have hid a part of his background when he utilized to be the undertaking’s website supervisor.

Su Chih-wu, a top quality management engineer on the positioning, mentioned by phone that staff had practically completed the undertaking, which was targeted on reinforcing the construction of a practice tunnel working parallel to the one the place the crash occurred.

He additionally mentioned that there mustn’t have been staff on the website on Friday, because it was the primary day of a protracted vacation weekend. It was not clear on Sunday whether or not Lee Yi-hsiang or anybody else had been on the website that day.

One other engineer on the undertaking, Yang Chin-lang, rejected the concept his staff had failed to make sure an satisfactory stage of security. “I didn’t do something fallacious,” he mentioned by phone. Each Mr. Yang and Mr. Su mentioned they’d been interviewed by prosecutors on Saturday.

“I simply adopted the design blueprints and did my job,” Mr. Yang added.

The crash occurred close to Qingshui Cliff, an space the place mountains rise dramatically from the Pacific Ocean. Consultants say the tough terrain has lengthy introduced a problem to transportation engineers, and lots of accidents have occurred on the winding freeway there over time. However the rail and freeway routes are an important hyperlink between Taipei, the capital, and the east coast.

Feng Hui Sheng, deputy director of the Taiwan Railways Administration, mentioned in an interview on Sunday that the company had made continuous security enhancements to its programs and tools for the reason that 2018 crash.

He mentioned that these modifications would proceed and that the authorities would additionally search to enhance the community’s sign and alarm programs and improve observe security. However he additionally acknowledged that broader modifications may occur slowly.

“With regards to the innovation and reform of the system,” he added, “we’re extra conservative.”

Pleasure Dong reported from Hong Kong.

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