Asia - Pacific

Train derailment in Taiwan kills 51, injures 146

Repair work to rails may take 7 days, say officials

Riyaz ul Khaliq and Ahmet Furkan Mercan   | 02.04.2021
Train derailment in Taiwan kills 51, injures 146 A group of workers seen waiting to get in the tunnel where a passenger train carrying 490 derails in Hualien, Taiwan on April 02, 2021. At least 36 people were killed and 60 others injured when a train derailed in northern Taiwan, local media reported on Friday. The eight-carriage train, which was carrying around 350 passengers, derailed in Hualien city when it entered a tunnel, reports said. ( Walid Berrazeg - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA/TOKYO

At least 51 people were killed, including 49 passengers, and dozens of others sustained injuries in a train accident in eastern Taiwan early Friday, according to official media.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency said the death toll included the driver of the train that derailed after hitting a construction crane truck as it entered the Qingshui Tunnel in Hualien county at 9.28 a.m. (0128GMT).

At least 146 passengers suffered injuries and some have been transported to the hospital, the National Fire Agency said in a statement, that added relief and rescue operations are ongoing.

The eight-carriage passenger Taroko Express train was carrying more than 350 passengers, according to the agency.

The fourth and fifth carriages of the train were heavily damaged, while firefighters and search and rescue teams have been referred to the area.

President Tsai Ing-wen said emergency services have been fully mobilized to rescue and assist the passengers and railway staff affected by the accident.

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident,” she said on Twitter.

Officials have said it will take them at least seven days to repair the damaged rail tracks.

The driver of the crane truck is being questioned by local police.

Mainland China, which considers Taiwan as its part, expressed sympathy with the victims in the accident.

“The mainland is highly concerned about the rescue progress,” said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

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