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Taiwan seeks to arrest truck driver who may have caused train crash that killed nearly 50

Click to play video: 'Dozens killed in Taiwan’s worst rail disaster in decades' Dozens killed in Taiwan’s worst rail disaster in decades
WATCH: Dozens killed in Taiwan’s worst rail disaster in decades – Apr 2, 2021

Taiwanese prosecutors have sought an arrest warrant for a construction site manager whose truck is believed to have caused a train accident in which roughly 50 people died.

The crash, Taiwan’s worst rail accident in seven decades, occurred after an express train hit a truck that had slid down a bank next to the track from a construction site. The manager of the construction site is suspected of having failed to engage the brake properly.

The train was carrying almost 500 people on its way from Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, to Taitung on the east coast, when it derailed in a tunnel just north of Hualien.

Read more: Close to 50 dead, dozens more injured and trapped after train derailment in Taiwan

Yu Hsiu-duan, head of the Hualien prosecutors office, told reporters late on Friday an arrest warrant had been sought and that was now was being handled by the court system.

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“To preserve relevant evidence, we have several groups of prosecutors at the scene and are searching the necessary places,” she said.

Workers on Saturday began moving the back part of the train, which was relatively undamaged having come to a stop outside the tunnel, down the track and away from the site of a accident.

The more heavily damaged sections of the train are still mangled inside the tunnel.

Click to play video: 'Officials begin to remove train cars after Taiwan derailment' Officials begin to remove train cars after Taiwan derailment
Officials begin to remove train cars after Taiwan derailment – Oct 21, 2018

President Tsai Ing-wen is due in Hualien on Saturday to visit survivors, her office said. The government has also declared flags should be flown at half mast for three days in a show of mourning.

The accident happened at the start of a long holiday weekend and the train was packed with tourists and people going home.

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(Reporting by Ann Wang; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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