The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday reported an incident involving yet another Taroko Express train, this time near Wuta Station (武塔) in Yilan County’s Nanao Township (南澳).
Taroko Express No. 405, which was traveling east to New Taipei City’s Shulin District (樹林) from Taitung County, nearly hit a worker surnamed Wang (王) when passing through the station at 8:32am, the TRA said.
The worker was walking on the railway tracks from the second platform to the first platform, the railway agency said.
Despite the train driver slamming on the emergency brakes, Wang fell to the ground, but fortunately only sustained minor injuries, it said.
The station said both of its platforms are linked by a sky bridge and surmised that Wang was attempting to take a shortcut by crossing the tracks.
The train operator said that Wang would be fined.
The company for which he works could also be fined as much as NT$700,000 (US$24,901) for entering the station premises and commencing construction without notifying the TRA, the railway agency said.
Hung Yang Construction Co (虹揚營造) has obtained the NT$9.51 million contract to elevate the TRA platforms at Wuta Station.
The TRA said that if the company is found to have contravened safety protocols, it could face a fine of NT$100,000 to NT$300,000, as well as a per offense fine of NT$300,000 if there were a lack of safety facilities or inefficient inspection efforts, and a per offense fine of NT$100,000 if such offenses damaged TRA property, prevented the TRA from running normal operations, or caused injury to a third party.
The TRA said that it would continue to ask its employees and contracting companies to ensure operational safety.
Meanwhile, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) yesterday said that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) to ensure that the TRA strictly enforces its regulations and takes Hung Yang and Wang to task over any contractual breaches.
On April 2, Taroko Express No. 408, traveling from New Taipei City to Taitung, derailed as it entered the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林) after it hit a crane truck that had slid down a slope from a work site onto the rails. Forty-nine people died and more than 200 were injured.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang
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