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Driver of derailed train released on bail pending DUI investigation

2017/11/11 22:05:35

Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) The driver of a freight train that derailed in Hsinchu on Friday was released on bail later that night, pending investigation of drunk driving allegations, the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office said Saturday.

Bail was set at NT$50,000 (US$1,656) for the driver, because of the increased dangers associated with driving a train under the influence of alcohol, the prosecutors office said.

According to Wu Ren (吳仁), head of the Taiwan Railways Administration's (TRA) railway depot in Hsinchu, the train was pulling out of a rail yard when the locomotive and freight cars ran off the rails.

No one was injured in the accident and there were no disruptions to the TRA's regular train schedules, Wu said.

However, when police arrived on scene and tested the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC), it was found to be 0.2 milligrams, which is the level at which most people would pass out, Wu said.

He said all TRA employees are required to take a breathalyzer test before starting work and that the freight train driver had tested clean when he reported for work Friday morning.

However, there was lunch break between the first test at 11:24 a.m. and the time of the accident at 4:03 p.m., Wu said.

He said the driver has been suspended from that job and assigned to other work while the prosecutors office is carrying out its investigation.

According to the prosecutors office, the driver said he had drunk a few cans of beers and was not aware that he had exceeded the legal BAC limit for operating a vehicle.

(By Lu Kang-chun and Kuan-lin Liu)