Man apologizes after failing to secure truck that caused deadly Taiwan railway crash

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. in tears / ɪn tɪərz / (idiom) – crying

    The boy got hurt and ran to his mother in tears.

  2. unmanned / ʌnˈmænd / (adj) – not controlled or operated by a person

    The space agency is planning to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars.

  3. derail / diˈreɪl / (v) – to leave the tracks or rails

    The roller coaster derailed, but luckily no one was badly injured.

  4. mangled / ˈmæŋ gəld / (adj) – damaged so badly that the shape or form is completely different from the original

    Did you see that mangled bicycle? I hope the rider is okay!

  5. remorse / rɪˈmɔrs / (n) – a feeling of regret or guilt over doing something bad or wrong

    Dan was filled with remorse after he shouted angrily at his kids.


Read the text below.

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 April 4. The unmanned truck’s emergency brake was not properly engaged, according to the government’s disaster relief center.

Lee Yi-hsiang’s vehicle slid down onto the tracks April 3 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. 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 holiday, causing deaths and injuries, to this I express my remorse and my sincerest apologies,” said Lee.

Train travel is popular during the public holiday, when families visit their hometowns to pay their respects to their ancestors at their gravesites. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • In your opinion, is there any way for the truck owner to truly express how much remorse he feels? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The truck owner failed to engage the emergency brake, but he clearly never meant to cause the accident. What punishment, if any, do you think he should receive? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Seatbelts are commonly used in cars and on airplanes but are not often seen on trains. Do you think that seatbelts should be used on trains more too? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think news of major train accidents like this affect how many people travel by train? Why or why not? Discuss.