Fri, Mar 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Kuo promises tough measures against TRA management

FED UP The minister said she would put the current three TRA deputy heads under observation before deciding on who to select as the next TRA chief

STAFF WRITER

Following reports of another accident involving the Taipei Railway Administration (TRA), Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) yesterday vowed to punish the management severely.

The accident-prone TRA yesterday reported another incident, as a train carrying coal derailed around 4:30am in Hsinchu County, delaying 12 trains for a total of 162 minutes, with the the longest individual delay being 24 minutes.

No casualties were reported and one-way traffic was resumed at 7am and two-way traffic at 8am following the TRA's quick dispatch of maintenance workers to fix the damage.

However, the accident came on top of last Friday's disaster when five railway maintenance workers were killed by an express train in Hualien.

On Wednesday, the TRA was also plagued by train delays on a number of routes and overbooking of train tickets.

Faced with harsh criticism from legislators across party lines, Kuo reportedly appeared pensive and worried when questioned by lawmakers in the legislature yesterday morning, and she vowed to severely punish the management of the TRA.

Kuo said she has changed her decision to have the TRA's deputy director-general Hsu Yi-nan (徐亦南) take over as acting director-general following the resignation of Hsu Da-wen (徐達文) to take responsibility for last Friday's accident in Hualien County.

Kuo instead asked Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Nuan-hsuan (何煖軒) to take up the post.

Kuo added that she would put the current three TRA deputy director-generals on probation and see which one of them will be the ideal candidate to assume the position of director-general.

After a series of accidents, the TRA held an ad hoc meeting yesterday morning and is now planning to submit a list of TRA officials that may be subject to punishment.

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