Fri, Feb 16, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Woman killed in Miaoli train incident

DEPRESSION?A witness said the woman had been sitting on a bench looking downcast and jumped onto the tracks just as the train was approaching the station

By Tony Yao, Yang Yung-sheng and Chang Shun-teng  /  Staff reporters, with CNA

A Puyuma Express train remains halted on railway tracks next to the Miaoli Railway Station in Miaoli County yesterday after striking a woman.

Photo: Chang Hsun-teng, Taipei Times

A woman was yesterday fatally struck by a Puyuma Express train at the Miaoli Railway Station in an apparent suicide, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

The incident, which occurred at 10:23am, halted train services along the route for nearly an hour and affected 700 passengers, the agency said.

The Puyuma Express No. 110 train was bound for Nangang Station in Taipei when it hit the woman and tossed her body to the southbound track, it said.

Sources said the woman, surnamed Chen (陳), was 38 years old and had disabilities.

An eyewitness, surnamed Lin (林), said Chen had been sitting on a bench on the platform looking downcast and jumped onto the tracks as the train approached the station.

Police said a preliminary investigation found that Chen suffered from moderate depression, but they have yet to determine why she might have committed suicide.

Train services resumed at 11:15am after police had examined the scene and collected potential evidence, the agency added.

Separately, two vehicles crashed at 12:15pm yesterday on the southbound lane of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1) near the Jhubei (竹北) exit.

No one was injured and the lane was soon cleared for traffic, but the incident caused congestion in the 5km leading up to the exit.

Other sections of freeways that saw traffic congestion included the southbound lanes of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway between Hukou (湖口) and Hsinchu; on the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3) between the Guansi Service Area and Guansi (關西), between Ciedong (茄苳) and Siangshan (香山), and between Dasi (大溪) and Longtan (龍潭); as well as on the Chiang Wei-shui Freeway (Freeway No. 5) between Nangang (南港) and Shihding (石碇).

Despite some congestion, driving speed along most parts of the freeways was at least 60kph, National Freeway Bureau Traffic Management Division director Hsu Fu-shen (徐福聲) said, adding that traffic is expected to spike this morning — the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Throughout the six-day holiday, the bureau is carrying out traffic control measures along 45 congestion-prone sections on freeways and provincial highways, as well as 10 major tourist attractions, the bureau said.

The bureau would also increase the number of long-distance buses depending on the traffic situation and offer discounted bus tickets to encourage people to use public transportation, it added.

Real-time information about the traffic on national highways is available on the bureau’s 1968 Web site and its smartphone app.

Meanwhile, passenger traffic at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday was estimated at 117,043 — which was 13,000 fewer than last year.

Of the 117,043 passengers, 59,012 were departures and 55,350 were arrivals, the airport said.

Although the numbers were surprisingly low, the airport expects to see more than 130,000 passengers departing today.

Additional reporting by Ann Maxon

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