Taiwan’s transport minister said on Sunday he would not shirk his responsibility for a deadly train crash even as his resignation offer was rejected amid growing questions over safety lapses that could have contributed to the disaster.
In the island’s worst rail accident in seven decades, 51 people have been confirmed dead after a packed express train slammed into a truck near the eastern city of Hualien on Friday, causing it to derail and the front part to crumple.
Speaking at the crash site overlooking the ocean and backed by precipitous mountains, Lin Chia-lung said he would “not avoid” responsibility.
“I am also in charge of minimising the damage caused by the entire accident. After the whole rescue work is completed, I believe I will take the responsibility,” he said.
Premier Su Tseng-chang’s office said Lin had made a verbal offer to resign on Saturday, but Su rejected it for the time being, saying efforts for now should focus on rescue and recovery.