Sat, Jun 15, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Chemicals, but no explosives, found at railway station

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp yesterday confirmed that a box of chemicals was found at a parking facility at the Zuoying (左營) high-speed rail station on Thursday night.

The box contained no explosives, and was apparently accidentally left behind by a worker at an electroplating factory, investigators said.

The high-speed rail operator has heightened security procedures for unidentified items after luggage containing explosives was found in April this year.

According to the fire department in Greater Kaohsiung, the box was found on the third floor of the station’s parking building, with the containers inside the box carrying the labels of skulls.

The department dispatched a fire truck, ambulance and a chemical hazard rescue vehicle to the scene.

People were evacuated from the area and Environmental Protection Administration officials were on hand in case hazardous materials were found.

The chemicals inside the box were later determined to be an ammonia solution and silver potassium cyanide, which are used for electroplating.

According to the department’s investigation, the box belonged to an electroplating factory employee surnamed Wang (王). He returned from Taipei and came to pick up his car in the parking building. He then drove the car away and left the box behind without knowing it.

Wang returned yesterday to claim the items.

In other news, Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said that it would continue to communicate with union representatives to prevent a potential shutdown of the railway system during the Mid-Autumn Festival

Workers at the nation’s largest railway system took to the street on Thursday, protesting over proposed pension fund reforms.

The Railway Workers Union said that TRA employees have never enjoyed the same benefits as other government workers, but their pensions funds are being cut. The union said hundreds of TRA workers had threatened to go on strike on the Mid-Autumn Festival.

In response, TRA said the union should voice its concern to the administrative authority in charge of the pension fund, adding that it is inappropriate to sacrifice passenger safety to express its appeal.

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