Dozens of dead and dozens more prisoners after the train crashed into a truck and partially derailed at the tunnel exit in Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan – A passenger train crashed into a truck on its tracks and was partially derailed in front of a rail tunnel on Taiwan’s east coast on Friday. At least 34 people were killed, dozens injured and dozens left prisoner, local police said. Survivors climbed out of the windows onto the roofs of the wagons to get to safety.
Officials in Hualien County said the rescue effort would continue.
It was Taiwan’s deadliest train wreck in decades.
It occurred near the scenic area of Toroko Gorge at 9am on a public holiday.
There were 350 passengers on board, the authorities said. Local media said many stood because the train was so full and tossed around by the crash.
The train was an express trip from Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, to Taitung, a city on the island nation’s southeast coast, Reuters reported. At the start of the long holiday weekend, it was packed with tourists and people going home, added Reuters.
According to reports, a truck fell off a cliff above and landed on the tracks, where a train crashed out of a tunnel. Since most of the train was still locked in the tunnel, escaping passengers had to climb doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.
The truck apparently hit after the locomotive surfaced and caused the greatest damage to Cars 1-5, according to the Hualien County Emergency Services Department.
According to Agence France-Presse, Hualien County Police Chief Tsai Ding-hsien told reporters that the truck was “a construction vehicle that was improperly parked and slipped on the rails. This is our first understanding and we clarify the cause of the incident . “”
Local media images of the scene showed the back of a yellow pickup truck parked on the side next to the train, AFP added.
Television footage and photos posted by local people on the official Central News Agency website showed people climbing out of the open door of a railcar just outside the entrance to the tunnel. The interior of a car was pushed into the adjoining seat until it stopped.
The accident occurred on the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival.
Taiwan’s last major rail accident was in October 2018 when an express train derailed when it turned a tight corner on the northeast coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring nearly 200.
In 1991, 30 people were killed in a collision in western Taiwan and 112 injured in their deadliest train accident.
Taiwan is a mountainous island with most of the 24 million people living on lowlands along the north and west coasts. The lightly populated east is popular with tourists, many of whom arrive along the coastal tram lines to avoid treacherous mountain roads.