Atleast fifty people have been reported killed and multiple injured in a passenger train crash off Taiwan’s east coast.
The train crashed in the Taroko Gorge area on Friday, April 2, at about 9:30 a.m. local time.
According to local media, about 350 people were on board the train on the day off. Railway police have so far confirmed the deaths of 50 passengers.
Authorities say 61 injured passengers have been hospitalized so far, while about 72 passengers were trapped inside the train and more deaths are feared.
The affected train was traveling from Taipei to Tai Tung and the accident took place near a tunnel. Pictures published by a local media network, UDN, show part of the train inside the tunnel and part outside the tunnel.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing Wen says he has ordered the hospital and medical department to be fully prepared to deal with the situation. “Our top priority right now is to get the trapped people out,” he said.
According to reports, a truck fell on the railway line over the bridge and at the same time the train was coming out of a tunnel which collided with the falling truck very fast.
An unidentified female passenger can be heard on local media saying, “I was suddenly shocked and found myself falling. We broke the window and climbed on the roof of the train and then got out. ”
Taiwan’s east coast, adorned with mountain ranges, is a popular tourist destination. Trains from the east coast of Taipei pass through various tunnels and this is a very pleasant journey.
The previous major train accident in Taiwan occurred in October 2018 when an express train derailed. Eighteen people were killed and about 175 were injured in the incident.
Also in 1991, two trains collided in western Taiwan, killing 30 people and injuring about 100.