Mon, Mar 07, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Taipei traffic carnage sends 16 people to the hospital


A serious car accident occurred in Taipei yesterday morning, that left 16 injured, three of them seriously.

Motorist Chu Chih-yuan (邱智遠) lost control of his car and struck 16 other cars and scooters and over 20 people.

The accident occurred at 9am yesterday outside a busy traditional market in Taipei's Nangang district, police said.

Police said many of the people involved were injured by scooters that fell on them as a result of the collision.

"At least 16 people were injured in the incident ... the lives of three of them are in jeopardy," a police official said.

"Two women needed emergency brain surgery, and an elderly woman's spleen burst," police added.

Chiu told the police he took his wife to the market yesterday morning and stopped the car on a sidewalk. A scooter then ran into his car and he began to back up and hit a another car and scooter in the process. A nervous Chiu told police he then hastily moved the car forward and crashed into a number of other cars, scooters and people. His vehicle finally came to rest on top of several scooters.

A angry crowd surrounded Chiu's car and tried to pull him out and beat him, but he stayed in the car until police arrived on the scene. Police later established that Chiu was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol before the incident. At the police station, he said he had no idea what happened, while his wife prayed for the injured.

Chiu said he was very sorry, and that if he had a chance, he would visit the injured in the hospital. Police said Chiu will be charged with causing bodily harm and offenses against public safety.

Police said that as yesterday was a Sunday and the weather was mild, the incident was made worse because the market was packed with people.

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