TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the collapse of a quarry warehouse that killed a taxi driver, the Taoyuan City Government will issue the warehouse owner the maximum penalty of NT$300,000 (US$10,658.14) for not ensuring the building’s stability and safety, while the case is still under investigation for negligent homicide charges.
According to a press release issued on Tuesday (Oct. 12), aside from the penalty and investigation, the Taoyuan City Government has also ordered the quarry to cease operations and will conduct reinforced joint inspections on quarries and relevant businesses. The government has also issued NT$53,600 to the victim’s family as emergency consolation money and will provide any assistance needed.
The wall of the warehouse, located at a quarry in Taoyuan’s Guishan District, collapsed early in the morning of Tuesday, allegedly due to heavy rainfall brought by Typhoon Kompasu. At the time, a 56-year-old taxi driver surnamed Tai (戴) was driving by and was immediately crushed and buried.
He was confirmed dead two hours later when rescuers finally dug him out.
Reporters reported that the quarry involved in the incident has a long history of delinquency, and has received dozens of penalties in the past. While the business was legal, it had attempted to illegally expand its operations on multiple occasions, accumulating a total of 12 penalties so far, as well as stored gravel in unauthorized areas, accumulating 14 penalties for a total of NT$2.76 million.
However, whether the accident was related to any of the previous offenses remains to be confirmed. Authorities are currently investigating whether the storage facility stored an excessive amount of gravel that eventually broke the wall.
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