Asia/Pacific

At least 48 dead, more than 60 injured in Taiwan train crash

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A train crash in Taiwan has left at least 48 people dead and more than 60 injured, according to multiple reports.

Reuters reported that an express train carrying nearly 500 passengers derailed in a tunnel Friday after hitting a truck that had slid off the road from a nearby construction site.

The train was traveling from Taipei to the city of Taitung, according to the news service. The truck was suspected to have slid off the road into the train’s path, and its handbrake had not been engaged.

The driver of the train was killed in the crash, the news service noted.

The train only partly emerged from a tunnel, and many passengers had to escape out of doors and windows and scale the side of the train to get to safety, The Associated Press reported.

The news outlet also noted that an investigation has been launched into the crash.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on Twitter, “In response to a train derailment in Hualien, Taiwan, our emergency services have been fully mobilized to rescue & assist the passengers & railway staff affected. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.”

 

The crash would be the most fatal since Tsai took office in 2016, The New York Times noted, but they don’t happen very often. The last major incident occurred in 2018, killing 18 people and injuring 170 others after a train derailed in northeast Yilan County.

The Times noted that the last crash with a similar number of fatalities occurred in 1981 when 31 people were killed.

Tags High Speed Rail Taiwan Train crash train disaster

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