Premier demands comprehensive reform of TRA

Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA)-Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) demanded Thursday that Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) get to the bottom of what caused the train derailment that killed 18 people on Oct. 21 and embrace reform to prevent future accidents.

The history of TRA is littered with accidents, but the way it studies the causes of crashes and takes measures to address problems has become too formalistic and superficial, Lai said at a Cabinet meeting where the derailment was discussed.

Rather than sticking with outmoded ways of doing things, TRA must learn lessons from the Oct. 21 accident and initiate sweeping reforms to resolve the deep-seated problems in its management system at all levels, Lai said, according to a statement by Executive Yuan.

Lai instructed Minister without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) to supervise the TRA’s probe into the underlying causes of the accident and related reform proposals.

On Oct. 21, Puyuma express train No. 6432 from Shulin in New Taipei to Taitung County derailed as it approached a curve near Xinma Station in Yilan County, leaving 18 people dead and 210 injured, the deadliest train accident in Taiwan in nearly three decades.

Meanwhile, Lai said the Executive Yuan plans to introduce a bill to establish a commission tasked with conducting independent investigations of major accidents involving land, sea, and air transport to better improve passenger safety.