The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Taiwan minister resigns over train crash


TAIPEI: Taiwan’s government yesterday said it had accepted the resignatio­n of its transport minister following a train crash earlier this month that killed 49 people, the island’s deadliest in decades.

The April 2 crash was caused by a railway maintenanc­e truck that slid down an embankment and onto the track moments before a high-speed train passed by.

The accident, which left more than 200 injured, plunged Taiwan into mourning.

Transport minister Lin Chialung offered his resignatio­n the day after the crash but the government did not accept it, saying he was needed to concentrat­e on the rescue effort and subsequent investigat­ion.

However, that changed yesterday with Premier Su Tseng-chang agreeing to let Lin step down. “The premier approved his resignatio­n yesterday which will take effect on April 20,” cabinet spokesman Lo Pingcheng told reporters.

A memorial service for those killed in the crash was held in Taipei yesterday and Lin was among officials in attendance.

Authoritie­s gave different death tolls in the days after the crash – partly because so many body parts had to be identified – but earlier this week they settled on 49 and said all victims had now been accounted for.

One French national and two Americans were among those killed. The driver of the maintenanc­e truck has been held in custody.

Prosecutor­s are working to determine whether the driver failed to secure the parking brake or if the truck suffered a mechanical failure.

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