A signal error is likely to blame for yesterday's KTX derailment near Gangneung station, according to the train's operator.
The transport ministry offered an apology to the public, while restoration operations are continuing.
Our Soa Kwon has the details.
Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mi has made an official apology in regard to yesterday's KTX bullet train derailment and ordered a thorough probe on the cause of the incident.
During her visit to the accident site near Gangneung station where she was briefed by KORAIL President Oh Young-sik, Kim said that the Korea Railroad Corporation has lost the trust of the public.
She mentioned that the accident occurred despite Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon's just recent visit to the headquarters of KORAIL during which he emphasized the company to prevent such accidents.
Kim added the government will hold those responsible to account.
KORAIL data shows a total of 661 malfunction cases of KTX bullet trains and other KORAIL-operated vehicles have been recorded since July 2013.
Meanwhile, investigations hint that a signal error may be to blame for yesterday's derailment.
A joint team of officials from the transport ministry and KORAIL has tentatively concluded that an error in the railroad switch system that controls the tracks likely caused the train to derail.
KORAIL President Oh vowed to ensure the rails will be fixed by 2 a.m. tomorrow.
Yesterday morning, the Seoul-bound train went off the tracks shortly after departing from Gangneung, incurring minor injuries on a total of 15 passengers.
Soa Kwon, eFM News.■
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