36 killed, dozens still trapped in worst Taiwan train crash

Photo: AP

At least 36 people were killed and some 70 remain trapped in wreckage after an accident with a train in Taiwan, Reuters reported. This was the worst such accident in the country’s history. The train derailed in a tunnel when it apparently hitting a truck, BBC elaborated.

The train was carrying at least 350 passengers, Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation centre said. The rescuers are struggling to access four carriages inside the tunnel that are "badly damaged". More than 72 people are injured said Reuters quoting the local transport ministry. The accident occurred at the start of the annual Tomb Sweeping festival, a typically high traffic period. The train, an express traveling from Taipei to Taitung carrying many tourists and people heading home at the start of a long weekend, came off the rails north of Hualien in eastern Taiwan, the fire department said. Images of the crash scene show carriages inside the tunnel ripped apart from the impact, while others crumpled, hindering rescuers reaching passengers.

According to Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, a number of people still remain trapped inside the train. "An accident occurred this morning at a tunnel in Hualien," she said in a statement. "Emergency rescue mechanisms have been put in place for the sick and injured. Rescuing those trapped is our highest priority now."

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