TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Workers removed more train wreckage from Taiwan’s deadliest railway disaster in decades before an initial report on the investigation into the crash is expected later Tuesday.
The third remaining train car has been removed, and the workers are now tackling the removal of the last two cars of the train, which sustained the most damage when the train hit a truck on its tracks last Friday. The damage is extensive enough that workers may need to cut the remaining cars into sections before they can be removed.
Authorities believe the construction truck equipped with a crane slide down the hillside onto the railway tracks, where the Taroko Express train struck the vehicle as it was exiting a tunnel.
Investigators were trying to determine how the truck fell and if the driver failed to properly engage its brakes. The sale of standing room only tickets on the train and the lack of protective fencing along the tracks, which run between a steep hillside and the Pacific Ocean, have been cited as possible contributing factors.
The crash killed 50 people and injured 200 among the 494 people on board, many of them traveling to meet with their families on a long holiday weekend.
Deputy Transport Minister Wang Kwo-Tsai said Monday the government will sue the driver and owner of the truck, Lee Yi-hsiang, and Tung Hsin Construction Company, which was the construction site contractor. The courts have already frozen assets of both Lee and the company.
Lee, who was the manager of the construction site, has been detained since Sunday when a local court in Hualien county initially granted bail but then revoked it.
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