Puyuma Driver Breaks Silence After Nearly Year|普悠瑪司機員尤振仲 起訴後首度露面
On Oct. 21, 2018, a Taiwan Railways Administration Puyuma-class train derailed, killing 18 passengers. The driver of the train, Yu Chen-chung, was subsequently indicted. He explained his side of the story for the first time 11 months later. He accused the TRA of deliberately concealing facts and evidence in his favor, and said prosecutors indicted him with the presumption of guilt. Meanwhile, the Taiwan Railway Union said Yu has been made into a scapegoat.
This pain is a barb in my heart.
Yu Chen-chung held a press conference on Sept. 26. On Oct. 21, 2018, he was at the wheel of a Taiwan Railways Administration Puyuma-class train that derailed, killing 18 passengers. He broke his silence 11 months later, making his first public statements on the incident. Yu was emotional throughout the press conference. He said going through this experience was like dying. During the press conference, he expressed his discontent with the decision by the Yilan District Prosecutors' Office to indict him, Taiwan Railways Administration's attempt to blame him, and the Executive Yuan's investigation. The investigation report stated that he was speeding, but Yu said he would put neither his own life nor those of the passengers at risk.
At that time, when we departed Luodong, the speed was 127 kilometers per hour. I don't know why they would claim the train was traveling at 140 kilometers per hour. The Yilan District Prosecutors' Office immediately presumed I was guilty, Taiwan Railways Administration immediately and maliciously tried to deceive, and the Executive Yuan's investigatory group deliberately concealed facts and focused on trivial details.
Yu accused the TRA of deliberately concealing facts and hiding evidence that would exonerate him, including filed reports of malfunctions, footage of him being requested to drive and handed keys, and memory cards showing whether the tilt function was activated. His lawyer requested an investigation, and the TRA either said the items were missing or destroyed in the accident.
The work report contained information on dispatching issues. Why would it disappear? Footage from the operations room was said not to exist.
Taiwan Railways Administration is making Mr. Yu the scapegoat. It is the normal state of operations for the TRA to drive when backup units are insufficient or there are malfunctions.
The TRA said it respects Yu's accusations, while the Transportation Safety Board declined comment, saying it is still meeting. The accident killed 18 passengers and injured over 200. The court session is scheduled to begin on Sept. 30, and there is speculation that Yu is trying to influence the judges by finally breaking his silence right before the session after nearly a year during which he made no statements and did not apologize to victims' families. The Yilan District Prosecutors' Office says all evidence will be made public and inspected during court. The evidence will be allowed to talk and establish the facts. It added that it was disappointed that implicated persons chose to make statements outside the court of law, although it respects this action. President Tsai Ing-wen also expressed concerns and said she will ask the Executive Yuan to monitor the situation and investigate fully.
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