Dozens killed after train derails inside tunnel in Taiwan

Friday, April 2


A train partially derailed along Taiwan's east coast on Friday, with dozens of people feared dead.

The crash is the island's worst rail disaster in decades.

The incident occurred near the Toroko Gorge area at around 9 a.m. local time on what is a public holiday in Taiwan.

Media outlets reported that around 350 passengers were on board.

Railway police said at least 51 have died.

Around 70 people are believed to be still trapped inside carriages while 61 passengers were hospitalized.

The train was traveling from Taipei to Taitung when it came off the rails as it entered a tunnel, just north of the city of Hualien.

Some carriages hit the wall of the tunnel as a result of the derailment, the fire department said.

Reports said the train had smashed into a truck that fell down an embankment and landed on the tracks. 

"There was a construction vehicle that didn't park properly and slid onto the rail track," Hualien county police chief Tsai Ding-hsien told reporters.

"This is our initial understanding and we are clarifying the cause of the incident," he added

Source: Newsday and Agencies