Truck owner rues
deadly train crash
The Associated Press
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The owner of a construction truck that caused Taiwan's worst rail accident in decades, killing 48 people, apologized in tears while being led away from his home by police Sunday. The unmanned truck's emergency brake was not properly engaged, according to the government's disaster relief center.
An investigation is underway as to how exactly Lee Yi-Hsiang's vehicle slid down onto the tracks Friday from a nearby construction site on the mountainous coast of eastern Hualien county. The truck was hit by a passenger train carrying 494 people, which derailed just before entering a tunnel, crushing many passengers inside the mangled train carriages.
The death toll was revised down to 48 on Sunday, after rescuers initially said 51, then 50 people were killed. The changes came after some body parts were found to belong to one individual, a spokesperson for the Central Emergency Operation Center said. At least 198 people were injured.
"I have caused a serious accident on the Taiwan Railway Administrations' Taroko train No. 480 during this year's Tomb Sweeping Holidays, causing deaths and injuries. To this, I express my remorse and my sincerest apologies," said Lee, who is also the construction site's manager, his words muffled by a mask and by emotion. "I will cooperate with the authorities' investigation fully and take responsibility."
Prosecutors in Hualien county previously said they were seeking an arrest warrant for the truck's owner, who was questioned along with several others.
The Hualien district court initially allowed Lee to post bail of $17,516, but that decision was reversed Sunday when a higher court in Hualien rescinded the decision to allow bail, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.
Train travel is popular during Taiwan's four-day Tomb Sweeping holiday, when families often return to their hometowns to pay respects at the gravesites of their elders. It's also an opportunity to take a vacation.
N. Ireland police
beset by violence
The Associated Press
LONDON -- Police in Northern Ireland have appealed for calm after officers were attacked with petrol bombs and cars were set on fire during a second night of unrest.
Three cars were hijacked and set on fire Saturday night in Newtownabbey on the outskirts of Belfast, police said.
North Area Commander Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said 30 petrol bombs were thrown at officers in an "orchestrated attack on police."
A 47-year-old man was arrested and remained in police custody.
On Friday night, 27 police officers were injured and eight people were arrested during riots in Belfast and Londonderry. Police said they came under "sustained attack" from a large group of young people throwing stones, bottles and fireworks.
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland called for an end to the violence and said people destroying their own communities was "not the way to protest or vent."
Tensions have flared as some members of Northern Ireland's legislature sought to censure two dozen politicians from the Irish republican Sinn Fein party who attended the June funeral of Bobby Storey, a former head of intelligence for the Irish Republican Army. Officials recently said they would not prosecute the politicians for alleged breaches of coronavirus restrictions.
All the main unionist parties have demanded the resignation of Northern Ireland's police chief over the controversy, claiming he has lost the confidence of their community.
Northern Ireland's first minister, Arlene Foster, has urged young people not to "get drawn into disorder" and refrain from attacking police.