This is Chang Shu-yu (張書毓) who was pushing her stroke-disabled father over a railroad crossing on Sunday night, when, with only five seconds warning, an oncoming train overtook them.
“My father suddenly disappeared out of his wheelchair,” she said. “He was sucked under the oncoming train.”
The accident happened at Baifu train station (百福車站) in northeastern Taiwan, last Sunday night. When Chang and her father arrived at the station they found the elevator was broken. So Chang asked a staff member, identified only by his surname Chou, to open gate at the pedestrian rail crossing. But, while Chang and her father were following the railway staffer across the tracks, an Express train suddenly entered the station.
The three of them quickly ran to the opposite gate, hiding in a small gap between the second gate and the train, but her father’s wheelchair was too wide and got sucked under the oncoming train.
Zhang’s father suffered bleeding in his skull, a pelvic fracture, and bone fractures in his left leg and right hand. He’s now under intensive care.
Chang is so traumatized that she can’t stand to hear the word ‘train’, nor even the sound of one rolling by. She said the last time she and her father crossed the tracks in that spot, a senior employee with a radio led them through, but Chou, the employee who opened the gate on Sunday, didn’t carry a radio with him. Director of Qi-du station, Shu Ming-chi (徐明棋) pointed out that Chou has been employed for 6 years and did carry a radio.
Chou told the police that he was going to open both of the gates before he led the two passengers through.
However, railway police are now investigating whether Chou followed procedure and checked with the control center to see if any trains were coming first.