Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Pan-blues label KRTS dangerous

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan-blue lawmakers accused the Kaohsiung City Government of risking people's lives for political gain, saying that the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit System (KRTS), which began trial runs yesterday, lacked the necessary facilities for handling emergencies.

"There are 13,200 people registered to participate in the trial runs during the next two months, but they are not aware that their lives are in danger due to the lack of safety facilities," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) told a press conference.

KMT Kaohsiung city councilor candidate Lin Kuo-ming (林國明) said that five of the eight stations to be used in the trial runs of the KRTC's Red Line had no fire extinguishing systems.

Lin said the KRTS also hadn't prepared any electric engines that could be used to tow cars during blackouts or earthquakes nor run tests on emergency braking equipment on the trains.

"We urge the Kaohsiung City Government to suspend the trial runs, and not to re-start the runs until all safety facilities have been set up," Lin said.

People First Party Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) told a separate press conference yesterday that the Kaohsiung City Government had decided to start the trial runs in a hurry in order to benefit DPP Kaohsiung City mayoral candidate Chen Chu's (陳菊) election bid.

"We call on the Kaohsiung City Government to halt the trial runs at once on the strength of the principle of administrative neutrality. If not, we do not rule out the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the Kaohsiung City Government," Liu said.

In response, the Kaohsiung City Government said the KRTS was safe but welcomed the criticism.

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