Hualien prosecutors yesterday indicted two more suspects over the derailment of a Taroko Express train in Hualien County on April 2, bringing the total of people indicted over the incident to nine.
The train was traveling from New Taipei City to Taitung on April 2 when it struck a crane truck that had slid down a hill onto the tracks from a construction site outside an entrance to the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien County, killing 49 people and injuring more than 200.
The suspects are an engineer working for the train operator and the project manager of a contractor, the prosecutors said.
The engineer, surnamed Pan (潘), is a supervisor at Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section, and the manager, surnamed Kuo (郭), works for CYL Engineering Consulting Inc (中棪工程顧), which supervised the construction site, they said.
Both men have been indicted for negligence resulting in death, and Pan is also charged with forgery, as he allegedly submitted false reports about the project’s progress, Hualien head prosecutor Chou Fang-yi (周芳怡) said.
The TRA appointed Pan to oversee the slope stabilization project together with Kuo, but they failed to carry out their duties, as they did not report breaches of regulations, did not make sure that safety barriers were set up, and did not make sure that no unauthorized personnel or vehicles enter the site, she said.
Citing an incident in January when a cement-mixer truck got stuck on an access road to the site above the tracks, Chou said that the two men and subcontractors failed to enhance safety by paving the road and installing barriers, as required in the project agreement.
Their negligence allegedly contributed to the train crash, Chou said.
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