Taiwan train travelling twice speed limit before crash that killed 18

Elias Hubbard
October 24, 2018

After the ATP was deactivated, the Puyuma train stopped at Yilan and Luodong stations but Yu did not turn on the system again because he was in constant communication with train dispatchers, the court said, citing the driver's statement to prosecutors.

It was the worst rail accident in Taiwan since 1991 when 30 passengers were killed and 112 injured after two trains collided in the western Miaoli county.

The driver of the train that crashed in Taiwan on Sunday killing 18 people has said he turned off its speed-control system before the accident.

The train data recorder, which tracks speed, among other things, had been sent to prosecutors to be examined. The system would have allowed him to brake, and without it the driver was left to control the train by hand, it said.

The driver "did not have the assistance of automatic speed monitoring and braking and should have taken necessary reactive measures, knowing there was a big curve ahead, instead of hitting the brake near the platform that led to the derailment", Yilan district court was quoted as saying by AFP news agency. The train was not scheduled to make a stop at the station, where the speed limit is 75 kph (47 mph).

Most of the deaths were in the first vehicle, which flipped over, a government spokesman said.

The driver was released on bail of 500,000 Taiwanese dollars ($16,141) and is not allowed to leave Taiwan.

On Monday, TRA said the train was checked at Yilan Station and that there were no more reports of power problems after that.

The 6-year-old Japanese-built Puyuma trains were built to travel at 150 kph (93 mph) to ease transportation on rugged parts of the mountainous island's east coast.

Approximately 18 deaths were recorded after a train in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan went off its track, resulting in five out of its eight carriages being overturned in a crash on Sunday (12 Oct), according to Taiwanese authorities.

The train had been carrying more than 360 passengers with about 180 listed as injured Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament on Tuesday morning, Premier Lai Ching-te apologised to the people over the accident and promised that rail services on the popular route which have been suspended since the mishap will be resumed in three days' time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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