Saturday, 31 July, 2021


41 dead in Taiwan train crash: fire agency

People walk next to a train which derailed in a tunnel north of Hualien Taiwan train crash: At least 34 dead and dozens injured
Patty Aguilar | 03 April, 2021, 10:22

He said a construction truck whose owner was a contractor for the administration slid from a work site above the track. 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.

A video on social media showed parts of an industrial vehicle heavy equipment, along with what looks like a auto door beside the derailed train.

Belize's Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to its official Twitter account and said, "Belize extends honest condolences to the Government and People of Taiwan following the sad news of a train accident in eastern Taiwan".

The train was carrying nearly 500 people on its way from Taiwan's capital, Taipei, to Taitung on the east coast, when it derailed in a tunnel just north of Hualien.

"People just fell all over each other, on top of one another", a woman who survived the crash told a local television station. The train had been carrying more than 400 people.

The manager of the construction site is suspected of having failed to engage the brake properly. There were reportedly 350 passengers on board-many of whom were traveling for the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival.

Rescue workers carry a body bag on a stretcher from a train which derailed in a tunnel north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 2.

Survivors described their terror as the train slammed into the truck and ground to a halt.

A further 70 people were still thought to be trapped in carriages inside the tunnel while around 60 were rushed to hospital.

Taiwan rail crash site

Part of the train was situated outside the tunnel, and people from carriages still in the tunnel were being led to safety, Taiwan's railway administration said. Many were tourists and people heading home at the start of a traditional long weekend holiday to tend to family graves.

'Our train crashed into a truck, ' one man said in a video aired on Taiwanese television, showing pictures of the wreckage.

President Tsai Ing-wen visited an emergency response center in the capital Taipei, and said investigators would get to the bottom of how such a deadly crash could have occurred. "We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident". He said the speed of the train was not known.

The last major train derailment in Taiwan was in 2018 and left 18 people dead at the southern end of the same line.

In 1981, 30 were killed in a collision in its north, while a train crash in 1991 killed 30. Those were said to be the worst previous crashes on the rail system that dates from the late 19th century.

And in 2003, 17 died and 156 were injured after a train on the Alishan mountain railway plunged into a chasm at the side of the track.

The line connecting Taipei with Hualien was only opened in 1979.

Jennings reported from Taipei, Taiwan.

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