TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on Tuesday (April 6) expressed gratitude to the deceased conductor of the derailed train at his funeral for protecting passengers to the last moments of his life.
Train conductor Yuan Chun-hsiu (袁淳修), 33, was killed in the April 2 crash as the front car was destroyed. The accident claimed the lives of 50 people and over 200 were injured.
His funeral took place at a crematorium in Hualien County’s Ji-an Township on Tuesday morning (April 6). In his eulogy, Lin said, “Your mission is over. We will bring you back to Taichung and thank you for protecting passengers to the last moment,” according to a CNA report.
Lin told Yuan’s family that an ongoing investigation has revealed he was stepping on the brakes and sounding train horns until the last moment in an attempt to reduce the damage. Yuan perished in the line of duty and should be honored, the minister said, adding that he will strive for the highest remuneration from the government on the deceased conductor’s behalf, per CNA.
After the cremation, Yuan’s ashes were sent back to Taichung with his family by a special train dispatched by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA). After arriving in Taichung, the conductor’s remains were escorted by police to a funeral home in the city.
As the mission of any Taiwan Railway train trip is considered accomplished after both the departure and return trips are completed, the special train carrying Yuan's ashes was intended to signify the fulfillment of this objective.