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Taiwan train crash kills 41 in deadliest rail tragedy in decades By Reuters

© Reuters. Train derails in a tunnel close to Hualien


By Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) -At least 41 folks have been killed and greater than 60 injured after a Taiwanese train carrying nearly 500 passengers derailed in a tunnel on Friday when it apparently hit a truck that slid off a highway resulting in a close-by development web site.

The crash, which additionally killed the train’s driver, is the island’s worst rail catastrophe in no less than 4 decades.

The train, an categorical travelling from Taipei to Taitung, got here off the rails north of Hualien in japanese Taiwan. It was carrying many vacationers and other people heading residence at first of an extended weekend conventional vacation to are inclined to household tombs.

Images of the crash scene confirmed carriages contained in the tunnel ripped aside from the affect, whereas others crumpled, hindering rescuers reaching passengers, although as of mid-afternoon solely two folks remained trapped in the wreckage.

Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung instructed reporters on the scene that the train was carrying about 490 folks – greater than an earlier fireplace division determine of 350.

Taiwan media mentioned many individuals have been standing because the train was so full, and have been thrown about when it crashed, and confirmed photos of survivors being led out the tunnel.

“People just fell all over each other, on top of one another,” one feminine survivor instructed native tv. “It was terrifying. There were whole families there.”

The official Central News (*41*) mentioned a truck whose handbrake was not engaged was suspected of sliding off a sloping highway into the trail of the train, and that police had taken in the motive force for questioning.

The fireplace division confirmed an image of what seemed to be the truck’s wreckage mendacity subsequent to the derailed train, and an aerial picture of the tip of the train sitting on the observe subsequent to a development web site.


“Our train crashed into a truck,” one man mentioned in a video aired on Taiwanese tv, displaying photos of the wreckage. “The truck came falling down.”

Part of the train was located exterior the tunnel, and people passengers in carriages nonetheless in the tunnel needed to be led to security, Taiwan’s railway administration mentioned.

Images confirmed an injured passenger being stretchered out of the crash scene, her head and neck in a brace, passengers gathering suitcases and luggage in a tilted, derailed carriage and others strolling out of the tunnel on the roof of the train.

The accident occurred at first of an extended weekend for the standard Tomb Sweeping Day, when folks return residence to take care of household grave websites.

Taiwan’s mountainous east coast is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot, and the railway line from Taipei down the east coast is famend for its tunnels and route that hugs the coast simply north of Hualien the place the crash occurred. The line connecting Taipei with Hualien was opened solely in 1979.

Taiwan’s state-owned railways are usually dependable and environment friendly, however have had a patchy security file through the years.

In 2018, 18 folks died and 175 have been injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan. In 1981, 30 have been killed in a collision in northern Taiwan, and in 1991 one other 30 died in a train crash.

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