Last 10 seconds of train dashcam shows driver had just a few seconds to react before derailment disaster

A video shown by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) at a press conference today showed that the driver of a train that derailed and crashed Friday had barely 3 seconds to react to an obstacle on the track.

The 10-second video shows the train exiting from a tunnel and rounding a curve before a truck that had rolled onto the track comes into view at the six-second mark. The train is then seen colliding with the truck at 9 seconds, before derailing and slamming into the left-side wall of the tunnel one second later. At that point, the video turns black as the camera was destroyed on impact.

NTSB Chairman Yang Hongzhi (楊宏智) said that according to the evidence so far, the Taroko train was running normally. The train was traveling at 125 kilometers per hour at the time, which is in accordance with the 130 kilometer per hour speed limit. The brakes were functioning normally, and the driver fully applied the manual brake prior to the collision.

Unfortunately, there was no time to adequately slow the train down before it hit the truck. The data recorder showed that the speed of the train at final impact was 121 kilometers per hour.

The investigation also showed that the truck had fallen onto the track from the construction site on the upward slope barely one minute before the train arrived.

The collision killed 50, including the driver and co-driver, and 211 were injured.

diagram showing how truck fell onto track.
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