The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday called for an investigation into the “systemic causes” of a train derailment on Friday last week.
The deadliest accident involving a Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train in 40 years happened after Taroko Express No. 408, heading from New Taipei City to Taitung, hit a crane truck that had slid down a hill and onto the rails shortly before the train arrived at Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林).
Yesterday, the Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office revised the death toll from 51 people to 50, following DNA testing.
Following confirmation by the Executive Yuan that Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) had offered a verbal resignation, the KMT said in a statement yesterday that taking political responsibility is the “bare minimum” that the Democratic Progressive Party should do as the ruling party.
A thorough investigation into the “systemic causes” of the incident and “supervisory responsibility” for it is essential, it said.
Such an investigation should answer questions such as why the TRA has “lacked professional leadership” since the retirement of the agency’s director-general in January, when Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-chung (祁文中) became acting director-general, the KMT added.
It should also answer why a contractor with a poor record was still awarded contracts, it said.
Prosecutors should conduct a comprehensive investigation into contractors possibly connected to the incident, it said.
However, the TRA cannot shirk its responsibility as the supervisory agency, the KMT said.
A TRA staff member who reportedly proposed on an internal chat group that the agency avoid responsibility for the incident should be investigated, the KMT said.
Along with continuing to pray, people must be held accountable to prevent such accidents, it added.
A survey of young Taiwanese showed that only 36.5 percent of men and 19.6 percent of women believe marriage is important, a trend that academics say is key to the nation’s low birthrate. Yang Wen-shan (楊文山), an adjunct research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology, yesterday announced the 12th round of results from a longitudinal survey of attitudes among young Taiwanese toward markers of adulthood. While few of the respondents, who were aged 28 to 32 when surveyed in 2017, found marriage to be important, 95.8 percent believed that being responsible for oneself should take precedence, data showed. Economic independence came in
SHRINKING FEMALE POPULATION: Last year, 107.74 boys were born for every 100 girls in Taiwan, which is a greater gender imbalance than in Japan and South Korea The Ministry of the Interior recorded 9,601 births in January, the first time the nation has produced fewer than 10,000 newborns in a single month, while different indicators showed that Taiwan might also be facing a population with increasingly fewer births, women and marriages. It comes after the ministry reported a record low 165,249 births last year, which was lower than the 173,156 deaths recorded last year. The nation experienced negative population growth for the first time last year, ministry data found. The number of births in January also dropped from a year earlier, when there were 12,510 births. In February, there were
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
KEEPING FOCUSED: Premier Su Tseng-chang was said to have commended Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung, but said the tragedy takes priority Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) has submitted a verbal resignation in the wake of the Taroko Express No. 408 train crash two days ago, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said yesterday. In a call, Lin told Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) that he wished to step down, to take responsibility for the deadliest accident involving a Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train in 40 years. As of press time last night, the Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office had revised the death toll from 51, which had been reported on the previous day, to 50, after DNA testing showed that what had