Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen offers joss sticks at a memorial for victims of Friday's train derailment in Hualien, eastern Taiwan. File/AP
Workers removed more train wreckage from Taiwan’s deadliest railway disaster in decades before an initial report on the investigation into the crash is expected later on Tuesday.
The third remaining train car has been removed, and the workers are now tackling the removal of the last two cars of the train, which sustained the most damage when the train hit a truck on its tracks last Friday. The damage is extensive enough that workers may need to cut the remaining cars into sections before they can be removed.
Authorities believe the construction truck equipped with a crane slide down the hillside onto the railway tracks, where the Taroko Express train struck the vehicle as it was exiting a tunnel.
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Investigators were trying to determine how the truck fell and if the driver failed to properly engage its brakes. The sale of standing room only tickets on the train and the lack of protective fencing along the tracks, which run between a steep hillside and the Pacific Ocean, have been cited as possible contributing factors.
The crash killed 50 people and injured 200 among the 494 people on board, many of them traveling to meet with their families on a long holiday weekend.
Deputy Transport Minister Wang Kwo-Tsai said Monday the government will sue the driver and owner of the truck, Lee Yi-hsiang, and Tung Hsin Construction Company, which was the construction site contractor. The courts have already frozen assets of both Lee and the company.
Lee, who was the manager of the construction site, has been detained since Sunday when a local court in Hualien county initially granted bail but then revoked it.
"The prosecutor general ordered that the two drivers... their two assistants, the guard of a traffic control tower, the head of traffic control in Assiut and two other guards ... be remanded in custody," a statement from the prosecutor said.
The 4,132 search and rescue personnel are supported by 14 airplanes, 62 ships and 21 raft boats. They are using an underwater metal detector and remotely operated vehicle to find human remains, the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and more wreckage.
Prosecutors in Taiwan on Saturday sought an arrest warrant for the owner of an unmanned truck that rolled onto a rail track and caused the country's worst train disaster in decades that killed 50 people and injured 178.
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