The driver of a truck that went off the track in a horrific train crash in Taiwan has apologized Sunday. He said he would co-operate with the authorities in the investigation into the train accident.
“I’m so sorry, I want to apologize,” the emotional Lee Yi-hiang told national television cameras.
The train, which was carrying 492 passengers on board, ran over a truck north of Hualien just before the tunnel on Friday and derailed. The disaster killed 51 people and injured more than 200.
The Taiwan Railway Authority on Saturday released the names of 47 victims, including three foreigners. Among the victims were children. Other bodies have not yet been identified.
The truck was parked at a construction site just above the railroad tracks. The truck’s handbrake may not be used properly, causing the vehicle to land on the track. The driver is being investigated for improper use of the parking brake or whether the brake is mechanically damaged.
Driver out on bail
Lee, 49, is an employee of the National Railways and regularly inspected Taiwan’s Mountain Eastern Railway due to landslides and other hazards. He was questioned last weekend and released on bail pending further investigation.
Taiwan’s Transport Minister Lin Xiao-Lung offered to resign on Sunday. The government did not grant that request, and Lynn wants to continue until the results of the investigation into the train disaster are known.