Sat, May 17, 2003 - Page 4 News List

It was suicide, police say

EVIDENCE The truck explosion on Thursday at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was an act of suicide, according to clues found at the scene

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The exterior of the front entrance to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications had already been whitewashed by yesterday morning, after a truck loaded with gasoline slammed into the building on Thursday night, but the interior walls still show the damage caused by the crash and resulting fire.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office yesterday confirmed that the truck explosion at the Ministry of Transportation and Communi-cations on Thursday night was a planned attack and coroners will autopsy the driver's body on Monday to determine whether he was on drugs at the time of the crash.

"Evidence we discovered at the scene supports our allegation [that he did this on purpose]," said Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達), the spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office.

Chen said that Wu Kuai-chin (吳桂慶), the 46-year-old truck driver, had a load of approximately 140 liters of gasoline in 16 containers the truck when he slammed into the ministry building.

Fifteen containers were in the back of the truck and one was on the passenger seat in front.

When the truck hit the front gate of the ministry, it became stuck in the walkway. Wu reportedly ignited the gasoline container on the front seat, which then triggered a huge explosion.

The coroners reported that Wu's right foot was still on the truck's accelerator when his body was discovered.

"These clues confirm that Wu planned this incident and he wanted to die so badly that he kept pressing the accelerator even though the vehicle had become stuck in the walkway," Chen said.

The investigation team, led by Chief Prosecutor Hsueh Wei-ping (薛維平) and Chungcheng First Precinct Chief Wu Su-lu (吳思陸), will autopsy Wu's body to determine whether he was on drugs or had any health or mental problems, which might have had an influence on his actions Thursday night.

The investigating team will also conduct a DNA test to confirm the driver's identity.

Chen said the match-up is necessary because the body was so badly damaged that coroners could not identify him without an autopsy, although the investigation and evidence all proved that Wu was the driver.

However, Chen said the reasons for Wu's attack remain a mystery, as hiss boss and friends have all said they did not notice any abnormal or strange behavior when they last saw him.

Wu mailed a diary to a local TV station before he died.

In the diary, he complained about Taiwan's traffic problems but he did not say whether this was the reason why he decided to commit suicide, or planned an attack on the ministry building.

Wu was single. Both his parents are dead and his only surviving family member is an older sister, who has refused to be interviewed.

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