Taiwan prepare crash: Practice derails close to Taroko Gorge, killing 51 and injuring dozens

Pictures from the scene confirmed the prepare tilted contained in the tunnel, with items of crushed steel surrounding it. Survivors climbed out of the prepare’s home windows to flee.

The tragedy was heightened as Friday was the primary day of the Tomb Sweeping Pageant, an annual commemoration in Taiwan and another elements of Asia of members of the family who’ve died. A lot of Taiwan’s 24 million individuals have been set to journey domestically over the lengthy weekend.

The prepare had 374 seats however was carrying virtually 500 individuals, with many passengers standing within the crowded vehicles, Taiwanese officers instructed native media retailers.

The accident has raised issues about Taiwan’s transportation security, after one other lethal prepare crash three years earlier. In 2018, 18 individuals have been killed and 215 injured when a prepare derailed in northeastern Taiwan.

On Friday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen ordered an investigation of the reason for the crash and a speedy effort to avoid wasting the trapped and injured. The final two individuals trapped have been rescued Friday afternoon.

“All related items are working all-out within the rescue mission,” she mentioned in an announcement posted on Fb.

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang expressed his condolences to the passengers and their households, in line with the official Radio Taiwan Worldwide.

Wei Yu-Ling, secretary common of the Taiwan Railway Union, mentioned in an interview that she hoped Taiwan’s authorities would comply with via with its name for an intensive investigation. In February, two railway upkeep employees have been killed and one other was critically injured after they have been hit by a prepare.

“In comparison with the Taipei Metro and the Taiwan Excessive Velocity Rail in Taiwan, the Taiwan Railways Administration has a comparatively excessive frequency of accidents,” Wei mentioned.

Friday’s crash occurred in Taiwan’s scenic Hualien county on the east coast, one of many island’s hottest areas for vacationers. In 2019, earlier than coronavirus pandemic shutdowns started, the close by Taroko Gorge nationwide park obtained 4.8 million guests.

Trains are a preferred selection for journey within the area, with the curving mountain roads making for troublesome driving.

One taxi driver within the space, Yang Yi-chung, reported on Fb {that a} bus had ferried among the survivors again to Hualien Station. A shellshocked father and son, surnamed Huang, received into his cab, he mentioned.

“These within the carriages caught within the tunnel, some broke the home windows, some climbed on the roofs, some have been coated in blood, some have been on the lookout for their kinfolk,” Yang recalled one of many passengers saying.

Taiwan’s Nationwide Hearth Company mentioned Friday night that fifty individuals died within the crash and 146 have been injured.

The operator of the development truck that induced the accident was taken to a police station for questioning, in line with CNA.

Chen and Wu reported from Taipei, Taiwan. Lyric Li in Seoul contributed to this report.

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