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Blogger HandKevinSome dies in eastern Taiwan train derailment

Blogger identified from DNA, wrote he had been sitting on floor of train

Photo of Wu uploaded on Feb. 23.(Instagram, HandKevinSome photo)

Photo of Wu uploaded on Feb. 23.(Instagram, HandKevinSome photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A young blogger on Monday (April 5) was confirmed to be among those who perished in the deadly train derailment that took place at the start of the Tomb Sweeping Festival holiday.

At 9:28 a.m. on Friday (April 2), the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) No. 408 Taroko train running from Shulin, New Taipei, to Taitung suddenly derailed as it passed through the Daqingshui tunnel, killing 50 and injuring 200. On Monday, DNA analysis revealed the 49th passenger confirmed dead was blogger surnamed Wu (吳), who goes by the handle HandKevinSome (Kevin 韓德凱文森).

As early as March 16, he had told his fans that he would be taking a trip to eastern Taiwan. That day, he wrote in English: "The end, and the new. Thanks for everything, now I can get a new chance to face my own life. Everything is the best arrangement."

In his last social media post, uploaded on Instagram on April 1, he included a photo in which he looked wistfully at the sea, writing that he was going to "embark on a rare trip" and would be traveling in Taitung for 12 days. On April 2, he told his friends that he would be taking the No. 408 Taroko.

He boarded the train at 7:26 a.m. that morning at Banqiao Station. By 8 a.m., the train had reached Songshan station, and he sent a message saying he had had to pay 50 percent more for a ticket on the train and that he was sitting on the floor.

Wu was not heard from again before the accident. When news of it broke, his family and friends suspected he had been aboard the No. 408 Taroko and began calling hotels in Hualien to see if he had checked in.

Wu's elder and younger brothers rushed from Kaohsiung to Hualien and inspected luggage found at the scene to see if it was their brother's, but they did not know the color or style of his suitcase. His name was not included on the list of injured or dead.

Therefore, his family had no choice but to await the results of DNA testing on the remains of unidentified passengers. On Monday, his DNA was found to be a match with the remains of one of the deceased, reported UDN.

Wu's mother accepted condolences delivered by the Kaohsiung City Government's Social Affairs Bureau but called on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and its contactor to "have a conscience," reported Newtalk. She then criticized the TRA for causing the deaths due to negligence, asking, "Why are you selling so many no-seat tickets?"

Updated : 2022-05-29 17:24 GMT+08:00