Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Taiwanese investigators said Tuesday that the driver of a tourist train that crashed Sunday, killing 18 people, manually disabled the train's speed controls.
The Taiwan Railways Administration confirmed the train was traveling about two times above the safe speed limit set by the Puyuma line. The train's driver, Yu Cheng-chung, manually disabled the automatic train protection system, which prevents the trade from exceeding safe speeds.
The Yilan District Court denied a motion filed by prosecutors to detain Yu, who was accused of negligence, and was released on $16,141 bail.
During the detention hearing, Yu said he shut off the system because the train was having problems accelerating and the speedometer on the dashboard was not showing the actual speed of the train.
Prosecutors said Yu should've been aware of the speed of the train after turning off the speed controls and that he failed to follow standard operating procedures that dictate the system must be turned back on at the first stop after it is shut off.
Lai Sui-chin, deputy director of the Taiwan Railways Administration's rolling stock department, said Yu had reported unusually low pressure from the air compressor that controls the train's power system and the train received maintenance service at Yilan station before continuing on its path.
Railway officials didn't confirm reports that illuminated signs related to the train's control and management system were flashing unusually before the crash.
The crash took place when the train derailed in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday afternoon as it was traveling from New Taipei to Taitung.
It was the deadliest crash of it's kind since 1981 as 18 people were killed and 190 more were injured.