TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Cabinet has ordered all government agencies and public schools to lower the national flag to half-staff for the next three days in honor of the 50 lives lost Friday (April 2) in a train accident.
The crash, which was the deadliest rail accident in Taiwan since 1948, occurred at 9:28 a.m. on Friday morning when a Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) express train hit a crane truck that had slid down a hillside next to a construction site at the Daqingshui tunnel in Hualien County. At least 50 passengers were killed, and 162 people suffered minor to moderate injuries.
In a statement released late on Friday, the Ministry of the Interior announced that the Cabinet had ordered the national flag to be lowered across the country for three days, starting Saturday, as a mark of respect for the victims of the tragedy.
According to the Half-mast Implementation Regulations, the Taiwanese government can decide to lower the flag following the deaths of individuals who have made significant contributions to the country or "heavy casualties resulting from a natural or man-made disaster." The flag must be raised all the way before being flown at half staff in accordance with the regulations.