Deadly train derailment in Taiwan: driver jailed

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Deadly train derailment in Taiwan: driver jailed


The driver of a train that derailed in 2018 in Taiwan, killing 18 people, was sentenced Monday to four and a half years in prison for negligent homicide.





© Johnson Lai / AP / SIPA



The driver of a train that derailed in 2018 in Taiwan, killing 18 people, was sentenced Monday to four and a half years in prison for negligent homicide. More than 200 people were also injured in the derailment of the Puyuma Express train on October 21, 2018 in Yilan County (Northeast). The driver, identified simply by his last name, You, had disabled Automatic Train Protection (ATP), a system used to control speed, the court said in a statement. According to the official accident report, the driver had disabled this system in an attempt to resolve mechanical issues with the train’s main compressor. “The speeding of the accused has a substantial cause and effect link with the massive number of victims of the accident (…) but he denied any fault and showed no remorse”, according to the court. Mr. You can appeal.

The train was traveling at 140 km / h, nearly double the authorized limit of 80 km / h on this curved segment, as it approached Xinma station had, the official report said, drawn up by a group of government work to investigate the accident. The driver, who was speaking with a rail network coordinator, did not slow down or brake during the two minutes before the derailment, according to the report. The worst known train accident in Taiwan occurred in 1948, with 64 deaths in a train fire.

In April, at least 51 people were killed and more than 190 injured in the collision of a train carrying some 500 passengers with a construction truck that had slipped off an embankment near the coastal town of Hualien. The trial of the truck driver, charged with negligent homicide, is underway.

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