Taiwan prosecutors seek arrest warrant after train crash which killed 50

Taiwan Prosecutors seek arrest warrant after train crash which killed 50
Salvage crews are removing the rear carriages of the train outside the tunnel. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Authorities in Taiwan have sought an arrest warrant for the driver of a construction lorry that caused a train crash in which at least 50 people died.

The train, travelling from the capital Taipei to Taitung, hit the lorry when it slid onto the tracks from the site, trapping hundreds of passangers in the wreckage for hours.

Hualien prosecutors office director, Yu Hsiu-duan, later announced that an arrest warrant had been sought.

The train was packed with people travelling to celebrate Taiwan’s Tomb Sweeping holiday.

Friday’s accident is Taiwan’s worst railway disaster in decades.

It happened as the train, which was considered safe, was passing through a tunnel just north of Hualien.

Rescuers thoroughly searched badly damaged carriages inside the tunnel to find survivors, some of whom smashed windows to flee.

Many of the nearly 500 passengers on the train, which is one of the fastest deployed on a network, may have been standing because the train was so full.

Salvage crews started moving the rear carriages on Saturday, which remained relatively undamaged outside the tunnel. The more seriously damaged carriages of the train remain inside the tunnel.

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan is due to visit Hualien later on Saturday to meet survivors.

Some passangers at the back side of the train were able to walk away unscathed, while 100 were rescued from the first four carriages.

Many of the trapped, dead and injured were in four crumpled carriages inside the tunnel.

A Red Cross Society rescuer told local media the crash scene on arrival was “like a living hell”, and suggested there were a number of infants and children among the dead.

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