Truck Operator in Devastating Train Crash Speaks Out

And more on the Taiwan tragedy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2021 12:48 AM CDT
Truck Operator in Devastating Train Crash Speaks Out
Rescue workers remove a part of the derailed train near Taroko Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan on Saturday, April 3, 2021.   (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

As authorities investigate whether it was indeed a failure to set the parking brake that caused an unmanned crane truck to slide down a hill in Taiwan, where a train hit it, the operator of the truck is speaking out. "I am deeply remorseful and want to express my most sincere apologies," Lee Yi-hsiang read aloud Sunday. "I will cooperate with the investigation by police and prosecutors to take the responsibility I should take." Investigators are also looking into whether the truck experienced a mechanical malfunction, the Guardian reports. The resulting collision Friday killed at least 50, including some entire families. The youngest victim was four years old. Lee, who has been detained by authorities on suspicion of negligence but not yet charged with any crime, was also the site manager of the construction project at which the truck was stationed.

He was initially granted bail, which was later revoked on fears he might flee or collude with others, CNN reports. Three foreigners—two American women and a French man—were among the dead, the BBC reports. The train driver was also killed; witnesses say he may have had as little as 10 seconds to react to the truck in his path, and while some reported feeling like he attempted to engage the emergency brake before the collision, others indicated they felt no slowing down before the impact. Authorities will also probe that question. By Sunday, emergency personnel were still working to recover remains from the wreckage. Of the 202 people injured in the crash, 37 were still hospitalized. (Read more Taiwan stories.)

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