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Premier travels on train after derailment to boost confidence

2018/10/24 11:03:32

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on Wednesday took the first Puyuma express train to run on a track that was repaired after being damaged in a deadly derailment Oct. 21 to restore confidence in the express line.

Accompanied by a group of officials, Lai said before boarding the Taipei-to-Hualien train that their move was intended to give people renewed confidence in the safety of the Puyuma line in the wake of the derailment, which left 18 people dead and 190 injured.

Puyuma train services resumed on the damaged track on Wednesday after repairs were made to the rails and electrical system and tests were conducted to ensure passenger safety, Lai said.

(Video courtesy of the Executive Yuan)

Two-way train traffic on the other track on the double-track line that was not damaged during the accident resumed on Monday morning, and the Taiwan Railways Administration pledged Tuesday that service on the damaged track would be restored by Wednesday noon.

After arriving in Hualien, Lai held a press conference at Hualien Station to explain the measures being taken by the government to strengthen railway safety.

He was scheduled to stop at Xinma Station in Yilan County, near where the accident occurred, on his way back to Taipei on a Puyuma express and visit passengers injured in the crash who remain hospitalized.

The derailment occurred at 4:50 p.m. on Oct. 21 as Puyuma express No. 6432 entered a curve near Xinma Station at a speed that was nearly twice the speed limit for that section of track.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)