The Taiwanese public prosecutor’s office is filing an arrest warrant for a suspect in a fatal train wreck


© Reuters. Rescuers work on the site one day after a fatal train derailment in a tunnel north of Hualien, Taiwan


By Ann Wang

HUALIEN, Taiwan (Reuters) – Taiwan prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant for a site manager whose truck is believed to have caused a train accident that killed at least 50 people.

The crash, Taiwan’s worst railroad accident in seven decades, occurred after an express train hit a truck that had slipped down a bench next to the track from a construction site. The site manager is suspected of not having properly applied the brake.

The train was carrying nearly 500 people on its way from Taiwan’s capital Taipei to Taitung on the east coast when it derailed in a tunnel north of Hualien.

Yu Hsiu-duan, head of the Hualien Procuratorate, told reporters late Friday that an arrest warrant had been requested and was now being processed by the court system.

“In order to preserve relevant evidence, we have several groups of prosecutors in place and look for the necessary locations,” she said.

On Saturday, workers began moving the rear of the train, which was relatively undamaged after coming to a standstill outside the tunnel, down the track and away from the scene of the accident.

The more damaged sections of the train are still mutilated in the tunnel.

President Tsai Ing-wen is due to visit survivors in Hualien on Saturday, her office said. The government has also stated that flags should be hoisted at half mast for three days to mourn.

The accident happened at the beginning of a long holiday weekend and the train was full of tourists and people going home.

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