Driver indifferent after Taiwan's deadliest bus crash

The China Post/ Asia News Network

Family members of the bus driver killed along with 31 passengers in a crash in February have accused the bus operator of ignoring their plight.

The widow of driver Kang Yu-hsun said tearfully at a press conference Wednesday that bus operator Iris Travel Service Co. Ltd. had not contacted her family at any time following the tragedy or offered any condolences.

She alleges that Kang was overworked and had reported to his post for 14 straight days.

The Taipei City Department of Labor has called the incident the definition of an occupation-related disaster and said that the operator must pay 40 months of death compensation as well as five months of regular pay to cover funeral costs.

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Failure to comply would result in fines of NT$1 million(S$45,927), according to the department.

Taipei City Councilor Chang Mao-nan, who arranged the press conference, placed a cold call to Iris founder Chou Bi-chang during the event, requesting information on the compensation.


Chou gave a terse reply, saying that he would rearrange a time to discuss the matter and then abruptly hanging up.

Chou was criticised for his attitude during a press conference shortly after the crash, saying "people die for money, birds die for food" while ostensibly trying to apologise for the incident. The company denies that Kang was overworked and says he was compensated double for overtime.

The tour bus driven by Kang careened off a freeway exit ramp in Taipei on Feb. 13, killing 32 people. It was Taiwan's deadliest bus crash in 30 years.