• By Shelley Shan / Workers reporter

A Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) contractor whose truck slid on to a railway observe, top to a fatal derailment of a Taroko Express educate on April 2, experienced professional a battery failure on his way to operate, an investigation by the Taiwan Transportation Basic safety Board showed yesterday.&#13

The prepare driver had only seven seconds to respond before the practice crashed into the truck and derailed within the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道), it said. &#13

The crash killed 49 persons and wounded 213.&#13

Photograph: CNA

The board released a 278-web site report on the facts of the accident next a 4-month investigation. &#13

The last investigation report is to be launched in April following 12 months, in which the board would recognize the major causes of the accident and make basic safety ideas to all worried functions, board chairman Younger Hong-tsu (楊宏智) said. &#13

Board investigators earlier suspected that Lee Yi-hsiang (李義祥), onsite director of a TRA side slope stabilization task, was applying an excavator to enable it go his truck, which was trapped in the trees when it fell right after producing a flip on a curve on the development web site.&#13

Nevertheless, the investigation found that Lee could not start out the truck’s motor on his way to operate and asked a mechanic to cost the battery for him. Lee was explained to the battery may possibly have malfunctioned, but in its place of shifting the battery, he tried using and managed to restart the engine and drove the truck to the building website at about 8am.&#13

“The engine shut down once again when Lee tried out to push through a curve on the construction web page. To demand the battery, Lee made use of a suspension strap to tie the truck to an excavator, hoping to use it to restart the truck. He operated the excavator himself to pull the truck nearer,” Rail Event Investigation Division convener Li Gang (李綱) said. &#13

“However, the suspension strap broke loose from the truck at about 9:27am just after Lee unsuccessfully tried out to pull the truck 2 times, creating the truck to slide down a side slope and drop onto the tracks,” Li extra. &#13

The suspension strap that Lee utilised can only hold up to 3 tonnes, but the truck weighed about 7 tonnes, Li said.&#13

Youthful beforehand instructed reporters that the driver experienced about 17 seconds to stop the practice, but yesterday’s report confirmed he experienced only 7 seconds to halt it. &#13

Li said that the teach was traveling at 126kph when it came out of the Heren Tunnel (和仁隧道) at 9:28:27am. It strike the truck at 9:28:34am, with speed diminished to 123kph. Its velocity dropped even more to 117kph when it was moving into the Cingshuei Tunnel at 9:28:35am, he stated. &#13

Right before the incident, the TRA had assigned a employee from its construction crew in Hualien to observe landslides at a tunnel building nearby. The assignment was canceled on March 15 right after the tunnel was partly finished, the report stated. &#13

Dong Shin Design Co (東新營造) was the contractor for the facet slope development, which employed Lee as the building web-site director. United Geotech (聯合大地工程顧問) built and supervised the building, although C.Y.L Engineering Consulting (中棪工程) managed the whole venture, the board claimed. &#13

Lee introduced a migrant worker to do the job on the construction web site, even with the TRA banning all work all through the Tomb Sweeping holiday getaway, Li explained, adding that there have been 4 other Dong Shin workers in the tunnel design web-site.&#13

The TRA, Dong Shin and United did not have any program or information to clearly show that they experienced strictly controlled obtain to the construction web-sites, Li said.&#13

Dong Shin was discovered to have employed illegal migrant staff and did not give them schooling on occupational health and fitness and basic safety difficulties, he stated, incorporating that neither Lee nor a migrant employee at the web site at the time are accredited excavator operators.&#13

“The TRA did not involve the contractor to report to the agency anytime they entered the building web site. The agency’s on-web-site inspector also identified that the contractor had made use of excavators for suspension work prior to the accident,” Li reported. &#13

Neither the TRA nor the United Geotech necessary the contractor to put in boundaries on roadways in the design internet site, he additional. &#13

Although Dong Shin had borrowed walkie-talkies from the TRA, investigators did not find emergency contact data on the building site, Lee mentioned. &#13

Amongst the deceased, 30 of them were travellers with standing-space-only tickets, the investigation observed, introducing that 82.1 percent of casualties ended up in autos 5 to 8.&#13

“In our final report, we may talk to the TRA to reconsider the coverage of making it possible for travellers to board Taroko Specific or other tilting trains without reserved seats, specified the significant pitfalls involved,” he explained.

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