Taiwan train crash: At least 34 dead and dozens injured

Taiwan train crash: At least 34 dead and dozens injured

A train collided with an unmanned vehicle that had rolled down a hill Friday in eastern Taiwan, leaving at least 48 people dead and dozens injured in the island's deadliest rail disaster.

Rescuers moving body bags of victims on a train which derailed in a tunnel north of Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, on April 2, 2021.

Local media reports suggest that while the second and third cars derailed, carriages five to eight have sustained significant damage inside the tunnel, hampering rescue efforts.

"We will definitely clarify the cause of the incident that has caused major casualties", she told reporters.

The train was carrying around 350 people, the fire department said.

The Interior Ministry ordered all flags to be lowered to half-mast for three days while President Tsai Ing-wen was expected to visit the wounded in Hualien's hospitals later in the day.

The accident occurred at the start of the busy annual Tomb Sweeping Festival, a long holiday weekend when Taiwan's roads and railways are usually packed.

Images show a large, yellow flatbed truck lying at the side of the tracks. With much of the train still trapped in the tunnel, escaping passengers were forced to scale doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.

People further back in the train were able to walk away from the crash comparatively unscathed.

Shop worker tells of receiving counterfeit bank note from George Floyd
Martin said the color of the bill made him suspicious that it was fake, and he went outside to talk to Floyd twice about it. Floyd can be heard in the footage saying he's "claustrophobic" and struggling to breathe. "I feel helpless", he said.

"It felt like there was a sudden violent jolt and I found myself falling to the floor", one female survivor told Taiwan's UDN. With the train still partly in a tunnel, survivors climbed out of windows and walked along the train's roof to reach safety after the country's deadliest railway disaster.

The accident happened at the start of a long holiday weekend and the train was packed with tourists and people going home.

During the festival, people return to ancestral villages to tidy up the graves of their relatives and make offerings.

Taiwan's mountainous east coast is a popular tourist destination, and the railway line from Taipei down the east coast is renowned for its tunnels and route that hugs the coastline.

With the help of multiple tunnels and bridges, it winds its way through towering mountains and dramatic gorges before entering the picturesque Huadong Valley.

"People just fell all over each other, on top of one another", a woman who survived the crash told domestic television, according to Reuters.

Taiwan's last major rail crash was in October 2018, when an express train derailed while rounding a tight corner on the northeast coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring almost 200.

The driver of the eight-carriage train was later charged with negligent homicide. The derailment has left 50 people dead, and more than 140 others injured.

In 1981, 30 were killed in a collision in northern Taiwan, and in 1991 another 30 died in a train crash. He said the crash was the worst-ever in Taiwan.

Related Articles