Taiwan officials have sought an arrest warrant for the driver of a construction truck that is alleged to be the cause of the train derailment that left at least 50 people dead. The government-run Central News Agency (CNA) reported that the eight-car train, which was travelling to Taitung and carrying 490 people, came off the rails in a tunnel just north of Hualien on April 2, causing several carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel.
The police believe that the derailment could have occurred due to a “truck”, which was apparently not parked properly and may have come into the path of the train. The truck driver was taken in for questioning on Friday afternoon, and Hualien prosecutors office director, Yu Hsiu-duan, said that an arrest warrant had been sought. The fire department informed that the train driver was among the dead and more than 70 others were trapped inside for hours, while other survivors broke down windows and crawled along the train roof to escape. Rescuers are yet to extract the mangled front carriages inside the tunnel and fear they may find more bodies. The train had been packed with people travelling to celebrate Taiwan’s Tomb Sweeping holiday. Friday’s accident is the island’s worst railway disaster in decades. The 408 train is one of the fastest deployed on Taiwan’s network and can reach speeds of 130km/h (80mph).