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Bullet-proof door blocked truck within seconds: official

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The bullet-proof door that sentries activated successfully stopped a truck from causing severe damage when it crashed into the Presidential Office building, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

A driver, surnamed Chang, slammed the 35-ton truck into the Presidential Office building yesterday morning, but no one except for Chang was injured in the incident, police said.

The Presidential Office invited the National Police Agency, National Security Bureau and Taipei City Police Department to a meeting to talk about how to better ensure the security of the Presidential Office.

Chou Kuang-chi of the Presidential Office's security force said that it only took about 11 seconds for the truck to cross the 208 meters between the road and building.

Chou said that with the truck's speed, sentries only had five seconds to react to the situation and stop the truck.

“The sentries who were first on the scene were alarmed and used fire extinguishers to cool the truck down and reported this incident immediately,” said Chou.

Chou said that the sentries guarding the gate also immediately activated the building's bullet-proof door to reduce potential damage from the truck.

“I would like to ask the media to support and recognize the performance and hard-work of the sentries,” said Chou.

According to the Presidential Office, it requires about eight seconds for the bullet-proof door to be completely closed, but it only took five seconds for the truck to hit the building after it left Ketagalan Boulevard.

The Presidential Office said that even though the door was not completely closed, it successfully stopped the truck from continuing on and causing more damage.

According to the official in charge of security, there is not enough of a buffer area between the Presidential Office and the roads. Therefore, even though the sentries activated all the security measures to stop the truck, those measures can only stop a small vehicle, not a 35-ton truck.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Timothy Yang (楊進添) said that a team will be established and charged with enforcing security around the Presidential Office building.

The President Office installed 18 concrete flower-stands in front of the building later yesterday.

The Presidential Office said that it had ordered a new and thicker bullet-proof door to be installed as soon as possible.

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