Taipei MRT driver collapses and dies

Man was 41 years old: reports

Nanshijiao MRT Station. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A driver of a Taipei Mass Rapid Transit train collapsed soon after arriving at Nanshijiao (南勢角) Station and died later in hospital, reports said Thursday.

The man, surnamed Lee, 41, had just driven a train on the Xinlu Line from Huilong to the final station, Nanshijiao in New Taipei City’s Zhonghe District, around 2:29 Thursday afternoon. He reportedly stepped out of the train before switching off the lights because he felt unwell.

He collapsed almost immediately, with a cleaner sounding the alarm. One of the passengers waiting for the next train was a nurse who helped out to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but the driver showed no signs of life, reports said. An ambulance with a member of the MRT staff took him to nearby Shuang Ho Hospital, but doctors there pronounced him dead on arrival. Lee showed no apparent injuries, but because his medical background was not known to them, doctors said they could not pinpoint any cause of death.

Online comments focused on the possibility of overwork. The average MRT driver moves six trains a day on journeys lasting about an hour each, with pauses of about 10 minutes in between, reports said. There are also longer lunch and dinner breaks.

The Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation was not willing to comment on Lee’s case, but said he had taken a blood pressure test at the beginning of the working day and nothing out of the ordinary had been found.

Train services were not affected by the incident, reports said.