Taiwan Train Crash Kills 36 In Deadliest Rail Tragedy Since Decades
By Staff, Agencies
At least 36 people lost their lives and 72 were injured when a Taiwan train derailed in a tunnel on Friday after apparently hitting a truck in the island’s worst rail disaster in at least four decades.
The train, an express travelling from Taipei to Taitung carrying many tourists and people heading home at the start of a long weekend, came off the rails north of Hualien in eastern Taiwan, the fire department said.
Images of the crash scene showed carriages inside the tunnel ripped apart from the impact, while others crumpled, hindering rescuers reaching passengers.
The train was carrying around 350 people, the fire department said. Taiwan media said many people were standing as the train was so full, and were thrown about when it crashed.
Between 80 to 100 people were evacuated from the first four carriages of the train, while carriages five to eight have “deformed” and are hard to gain access to, it added.
The official Central News Agency said a truck that was “not parked properly” was suspected of sliding into the path of the train. The fire department showed a picture of what appeared to be the truck’s wreckage lying next to the derailed train.
“Our train crashed into a truck,” one man said in a video aired on Taiwanese television, showing pictures of the wreckage. “The truck came falling down.”
Part of the train was situated outside the tunnel, and those in carriages still in the tunnel were being led to safety, Taiwan’s railway administration said.
The line connecting Taipei with Hualien was only opened in 1979.
In 2018, 18 people died and 175 were injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan. In 1981, 30 were killed in a collision in northern Taiwan.