Train accident in Taiwan: search for victims and those responsible


Status: 03.04.2021 11:13 am

There could be other casualties, too: Clean-up work is underway after one of the worst rail accidents in Taiwan’s history. The prosecutor requested an arrest warrant against the manager of a construction company. He is now out on bail.

After the devastating train accident in Taiwan with at least 50 deaths, the emergency services have now started clean-up work. They try to rescue badly damaged wagons in a tunnel. Rescuers and authorities do not rule out that there are other bodies in the wagons.

The Interior Ministry ordered all the flags of the island nation to be hoisted at half-mast for three days. President Tsai Ing-wen visited accident survivors at hospitals in the coastal city of Hualien. He assured those affected of the best possible help, “so that the dead may rest in peace and the wounded recover quickly.”

Search for responsible people

Authorities are now trying to explain how the worst train accident in decades could have happened in Taiwan. Apparently, a poorly parked construction vehicle had slid down an embankment and crashed into the tracks just as the express train was about to enter the tunnel. It is not clear why the construction site was in operation, because yesterday was also a public holiday in Taiwan.

The prosecutor requested a first arrest warrant against the manager of a construction company. He accuses the businessman of negligent homicide: apparently, the parking brake of the vehicle was not applied correctly. A court has released the man after posting bail. Investigators announced that they would appeal.

Aliens among the dead

The fully busy train with around 500 passengers on board derailed yesterday in a tunnel on its way from the capital Taipei to Taitung. At least 50 people were killed and 175 other passengers were injured. About 40 of them are still in the hospital. Among the dead are a French and an American.

The last time there was a serious train accident in 2018 with 18 dead and more than 200 injured on the same train route. The train conductor was later charged with negligent manslaughter. In 1991, 30 people were killed in a collision between two trains, and the same number of people died in 1981 when a train collided with a truck. The worst train accident in Taiwan to date occurred in 1948, according to the Apple Daily; 64 people died at that time.

Taiwanese Prosecution Issues First Arrest Warrant for Construction Company Executives After Historic Train Accident

Kathrin Erdmann, ARD Tokyo, April 3, 2021 10:07 AM M.