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Economy

Driver reported trouble before train derailed in Taiwan

Full service to resume in days as president visits site of accident that killed 18

YILAN, Taiwan (Kyodo) -- Railway service partially resumed Monday morning after a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan the previous day, killing 18 people and injuring about 190 others.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited the site of the accident in Yilan County in the morning, telling reporters that the government aims to resume service fully within three days and will promptly investigate the cause of the derailment.

The Taiwan Railways Administration, at a late-night press conference, suggested that the express train may have encountered some mechanical trouble before the accident occurred, saying the driver had reported a lack of power.

Taiwanese media quoted a passenger as saying that before the derailment, the train had made an unscheduled stop at a station after the crew announced over the PA system that the train was experiencing a problem with its motor.

The train, operated by the Taiwan Railways Administration since February 2013, uses cars made by Nippon Sharyo Ltd., a leading Japanese manufacturer of railway carriages.

A Nippon Sharyo representative declined to comment Monday, saying company staff in Taiwan were still gathering information.

The Puyuma Express, bound for Taitung in southeastern Taiwan from New Taipei with 366 people on board, derailed on a curve near a station in Yilan at around 4:50 p.m., leaving some of its cars overturned. Military personnel and firefighters worked overnight to rescue survivors and clear the wreckage.

The driver of the train has been hospitalized with injuries, and police are planning to question the driver later, according to local media.

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