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Section of Taiwan railway resumes service following deadly crash

This photo taken on April 19, 2021, shows a train passing through the derailment site in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, after the resumption of services the same day. (Central News Agency/Kyodo)

TAIPEI (Kyodo) -- A section of a Taiwan railway that was the site of a deadly derailment earlier this month resumed service Monday, the island's transportation ministry said.

    The train track in the area of a tunnel in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, was damaged in the April 2 derailment that left 49 dead and more than 200 others injured. Following repairs, the first train passed through the tunnel early Monday morning, the ministry said.

    The train operator, Taiwan Railway Administration, had to repair the track and electrical facility while also ensuring the integrity and safety of the tunnel in which the train crashed.

    As a precaution, trains traveling in the tunnel area must operate at reduced speeds of 40 kilometers per hour, for the time being, the TRA said.

    The derailment, which was Taiwan's worst rail disaster in seven decades, occurred as the express train crashed head-on into a construction crane truck that had rolled down a slope beside the track.

    On Friday, prosecutors indicted seven people involved in the construction work on charges connected with the derailment, including negligent homicide.

    As there was no fence or guardrail on the slope to prevent the truck from going onto the track, the TRA has also come under criticism for failing to take sufficient measures to prevent such an accident.

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