A construction site manager whose lorry slid onto a railway track and led to Taiwan’s worst train disaster in decades has expressed “deep regret”.

Lee Yi-Hsiang, 49, said he was “deeply remorseful” and wanted to offer his “most sincere apologies”.

His flatbed lorry was parked on an embankment but slipped down it, causing the train to derail on Friday near the town of Hualien.

At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the crash.

Investigators say CCTV footage from the front carriage showed the train driver had only 6.9 seconds to reply and therefore the train was only 250m (820ft) far away from the lorry, not enough time or distance for the driving force to prevent and avoid the collision.

The probe is now looking into whether Mr. Lee did not set the hand brake or whether there was a mechanical failure in his vehicle.

He was questioned over the weekend by prosecutors and released on bail, but on Sunday he was taken back to custody because he was deemed a flight risk and had a previous conviction, Taiwanese media reported.

Reading a statement to news crews outside his house, Mr. Lee said he would co-operate with crash investigators, and “take the responsibility I should take”. He was then taken away by police.

He was a part of a team that regularly inspected Taiwan’s mountainous eastern train line for landslides and other risks. He was also thought to be the flatbed’s operator.

The eight-carriage train was traveling from the capital Taipei to Taitung when it hit the flatbed and crashed inside a tunnel north of Hualien.

The train was full of people traveling to celebrate a long-weekend holiday, and lots of the nearly 500 passengers on board may are standing because the train was so full.

Some survivors lost their whole families, AFP reports, and Taiwan declared three days of national mourning.

Crews are still slowly and punctiliously removing the train wreck from the tunnel. There are fears more bodies could be found.

Investigators are browsing the train’s recording devices and CCTV footage from the front carriage, the chairman of the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board told AFP.

“According to the testimonies by some passengers, they heard the horn being sounded and it’s believed the train driver had spotted an object on the track,” Hong Young said.

He added that the train driver, who was among those killed, would have struggled to avoid the crash.

There have been mounting questions over how full the train was, and why there were no barricades on that section of the track.

This cause Taiwan’s transport minister, Lin Chia-lung, to offer his resignation on Sunday. On Facebook, he wrote: “I should have accepted all the criticism over the past few days, but we’ve not done tolerably.”

The government has not accepted his resignation, however, and said he should stay in the position until the investigation was complete.

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