Over 100 trains across Taiwan sounded their whistles on Thursday morning to pay tribute to the drivers who died in the Hualien train crash that had killed 50 and injured over 200 last Friday.
Trains crossing the site of the accident did the same, mourning the victims killed in the island’s worst railway disaster in decades – where the eight-car Taroko Express carrying over 490 passengers from New Taipei City to Taitung was derailed by a crane truck that had rolled down the hillside and fallen on the track.
The driver, Yuan Chun-hsiu, and the assistant driver, Chiang Pei-feng, had done their best to stop the train to minimize casualties and regrettably lost their lives in the accident, officials said, adding that they would be venerated in the martyrs’ shrine.
120 trains around the island sounded their horns at 9:28 a.m. for five seconds in memory of the time of occurrence of the tragic incident.
Huang, representative of the labor union of the Taiwan Railways Administration, said many drivers were shocked after watching video footage of the accident. They feared that they would be the next and would leave their families helpless, he added.
He urged the TRA, the railway operator in Taiwan, to install sensor systems to notify drivers of any unusual objects on the track.
76 mortuary cosmetologists from across the country have been working around the clock to recover and repair the corpses of victims, many of which were severely deformed or unidentifiable. A 25-year-old Taitung girl, who lost her entire head from the chin up, could finally have her face restored after the best efforts of voluntary morticians. Her mother thanked the team for bringing dignity to her deceased daughter with a tearful embrace.
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