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    《TAIPEI TIMES》 Crash report suggests limiting standees

    The Taiwan Transportation Safety Board presents its final investigative report on last year’s Taroko Express train crash in Hualien County at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

    The Taiwan Transportation Safety Board presents its final investigative report on last year’s Taroko Express train crash in Hualien County at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: CNA

    2022/05/11 03:00

    DANGEROUS: The number of standing passengers injured in a train crash last year was seven times greater than the number of seated passengers, the report said

    By Cheng Wei-chi and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

    A final report on the deadly Taroko Express crash last year by the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board yesterday recommended limiting standing passengers who are at greater risk of being injured in an accident.

    The number of standing passengers injured when Taroko Express No. 408 crashed on April 2 last year was seven times greater than the number of seated passengers who were injured, the board said.

    The majority of those injured were in cars 7 and 8 — the two frontmost cars — and most of those injured were standing at the time of the accident, chief investigator Lin Pei-da (林沛達) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

    Based on the findings, Lin suggested that the Railway Bureau formulate crash worthiness specifications for trains and define impact buffer zones of train cars to better inform passengers.

    He also suggested that the bureau restrict or warn passengers not to stand in the aisles for too long, and to reconsider the sale of standing tickets.

    Taroko Express No. 408 had 498 people on board at the time of the accident: 49 people were killed (9.8 percent), three were seriously injured (0.6 percent), 16 were moderately injured (3.2 percent) and 194 were slightly injured (39 percent), the report showed.

    “We saw a positive correlation between the distribution area of the victims and the degree of damage to the train in each area, and a much higher rate of death and serious injury among those standing,” he said.

    At the time of the accident, 122 passengers and railway staff were standing, of whom 30 (24.6 percent) died in the crash, he said, adding that 13 (3.49 percent) of the 372 seated passengers and staff died.

    The numbers do not include the two deceased train drivers, as well as four deceased passengers who might have been seated or standing at the time, he said.

    Overall, 71.42 percent of the deceased and injured had been standing at the time of the crash, he said.

    “This tells us that it is considerably more dangerous to be standing on a train when an accident occurs,” he said. “The EU does not allow people to stand for long periods near doors or entrance areas of train cars, which are crumple zones.”

    The investigators also found the train’s safety equipment to be inadequate, he said.

    “Trains lack handheld loudspeakers and defibrillators, and once the train driver leaves the train, the emergency intercoms — which connect directly to the driver’s cab — become useless,” he said. “Also, the emergency ventilation system can only be turned on manually by the conductor.”

    新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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