Taiwan driver granted bail after 18 killed in train crash

Taiwan driver granted bail after 18 killed in train crash

Taiwan train crash
This Central News Agency handout picture taken on Oct 21, 2018 shows a derailed train in Yilan, eastern Taiwan. (Photo: AFP)

YILAN, Taiwan: The driver of a train that derailed in Taiwan killing 18 people and injuring 187, was granted bail on Tuesday (Oct 23) after being detained in connection with the island's worst rail disaster in decades.

The driver, You Zhen-zhong, 48, was granted bail of T$500,000 (US$16,167) after he was detained for investigation, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

You had been treated in hospital following the accident on Sunday in Yilan county, in the island's mountainous northeast.

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The wreckage of a train which had overturned is pictured during a rescue operation in Yilan County,
The wreckage of a train which had overturned is pictured during a rescue operation in Yilan County, Taiwan, Oct 21, 2018, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. (Image: Reuters/Li Lihua)

An initial inquiry found that speeding might have been the cause of the accident, the official Central News Agency said.

The train came off the rails on a curve while moving at close to 140kmh, above the speed limit of 74kmh, the news agency reported, citing the head of the investigation team, Wu Ze-cheng.

More investigation was needed to determine the cause, he said.

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An overturned train is seen in Yilan
An overturned train is seen in Yilan, Taiwan, Oct 21, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Lee Kun Han)

The train data recorder, which tracks speed, among other things, had been sent to prosecutors to be examined.

The disaster was Taiwan's deadliest rail accident since a 1981 collision that killed 30 people.

The head of the state railway administration, Lu Jie-shen, had offered to resign but that was not accepted by the transport minister, the railway authority said. 

Source: Reuters/zl

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