Taichung Metro col­lapse kills 4, in­jures 4

Con­struc­tion ex­pe­dited to avoid gov’t penalty: work­ers


A col­lapsed sec­tion of an un­der- con­struc­tion el­e­vated rail­way at a Taichung Mass Rail Tran­sit Sys­tem (Taichung Metro) con­struc­tion site caused four deaths and four in­juries late Fri­day af­ter­noon; three of the dead were con­struc­tion work­ers at the site.

The in­jured vic­tims were taken to China Med­i­cal Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal and Tzu Chi Hos­pi­tal in Taichung. As of press time, emer­gency teams on the scene were at­tempt­ing to raise the col­lapsed sec­tion in search for ad­di­tional sur­vivors and vic­tims. One pa­tient re­mains in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion with ma­jor in­ter­nal bleed­ing.

The sec­tion broke apart and fell four sto­ries, killing both con­struc­tion work­ers and by­standers on the busy in­ter­sec­tion of Wenxin Road ( ) and Beitun Road ( ). The dis­as­ter area is sit­u­ated be­tween the fu­ture G4 and G5 sta­tions of the Green Line, un­der con­struc­tion since 2009. Wit­nesses in­di­cate that the area was not im­me­di­ately sealed off to traf­fic fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent. Taichung City Mayor Lin Chialung ( ) can­celed his busi­ness itin­er­ary in South Korea in re­sponse to the in­ci­dent, and was sched­uled to re­turn to Tai­wan close to mid­night.

Cause of Col­lapse un­der


Due to ini­tial re­ports, con­struc­tion on the MRT was on­go­ing with the el­e­va­tion of a steel rail when a 209- ton, 43- me­ter sec­tion of the el­e­vated struc­ture col­lapsed. The cause of the in­ci­dent is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, with scru­tiny fo­cus­ing on in­ad­e­quate weight dis­tri­bu­tion for the con­struc­tion crane. Ini­tial anal­y­sis sug­gests that sup­port­ing wood pal­lets usu­ally po­si­tioned at the base of the con­struc­tion ve­hi­cle were not present. The con­struc­tion firm op­er­at­ing the crane was un­will­ing to ver­ify the ve­hi­cle’s load ca­pac­ity.

Work­ers from the con­struc­tion com­pany told re­porters later yes­ter­day evening that work on rais­ing the steel rail was be­ing ex­pe­dited to meet a 4 a.m. Satur­day dead­line from the Rapid Tran­sit Sys­tem Of­fice of Taichung City (

). The fine for de­layed con­struc­tion was re­ported to be NT$110,000.

The el­e­vated sec­tion of the Taichung MRT Green Line was sched­uled for com­ple­tion in 2020. Mayor Lin de­manded on Jan. 12 that con­struc­tion be ac­cel­er­ated for a 2018 com­ple­tion date.

Taipei City Of­fi­cials Dis­patched

to As­sist

Mean­while Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen- je ( ) called on Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (

) to co­or­di­nate with Taichung City Deputy Mayor Lin Ling-san ( ). Both Sec­tion Chief Chien Je- hung ( ) of the Taipei City Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Of­fice and Cen­tral Dis­trict Project Of­fice Direc­tor Yu Nien-hsin ( ) of Taipei’s Depart­ment of Rapid Tran­sit Sys­tems ( DORTS) ar­rived in Taichung later in the evening to co­or­di­nate res­cue ef­forts.

In ad­di­tion, Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice spokesman Charles Chen (

) stated that the pres­i­dent was pay­ing full at­ten­tion to the un­fold­ing sit­u­a­tion and im­me­di­ately di­rected the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan to pro­vide nec­es­sary as­sis­tance to the Taichung City Gov­ern­ment.

Pre­mier Mao Chi-kuo ( ) said that Taichung of­fi­cials needed to strictly re­view con­struc­tion safety con­di­tions.

Cap­tured from the In­ter­net

1.This over­head photo shows the col­lapsed sec­tion of the Taichung MRT, at the busy in­ter­sec­tion of Beitun and Wenxin Road. 2. This photo shows a sec­tion of an un­der-con­struc­tion el­e­vated rail­way that col­lapsed to the street be­low, in Taichung, yes­ter­day. The steel struc­ture, in­tended to sup­port tracks for trains of the Taichung MRT, buck­led and fell to the ground yes­ter­day, killing at least four and in­jur­ing at least four. 3. Taichung City fire­fight­ers along with emer­gency re­sponse teams ex­am­ine car wreck­age af­ter a sec­tion of el­e­vated rail­way of the un­der-con­struc­tion Taichung MRT col­lapsed late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Cap­tured from the In­ter­net

Cap­tured from the In­ter­net


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