Taiwan probes the train crash that killed 50

Photo: AP

The prosecution authorities of Taiwan announced they have launched a probe in the train accident which killed 50 people and injured another 178 earlier this week in the worst such disaster in country’s history, Reuters reported. The train was carrying 494 people at the start of a long holiday weekend on Friday when it smashed into a construction truck that slid down a hillside above the tracks, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

Many passengers were crushed just before the train entered a tunnel, while some survivors were forced to climb out of windows and walk along the train’s roof to safety. President Tsai Ing-wen visited hospitals near the crash instead of the site itself so as not to interfere with rescue work, her spokesperson said. “This heartbreaking accident caused many injuries and deaths. I came to Hualien today to visit the injured and express my condolences to the deceased passengers’ families,” Tsai said. “We will surely help them in the aftermath.”

Workers on Saturday began moving the back part of the train, which was relatively undamaged having come to a stop outside the tunnel, down the track and away from the site of a accident. The more heavily damaged sections of the train are still mangled inside the tunnel. Train travel is popular during Taiwan’s four-day Tomb Sweeping holiday, when families often return to hometowns to pay respects at the gravesites of their elders. Taiwan is a mountainous island, and most of its 24 million people live in the flatlands along the northern and western coasts that are home to most of the island’s farmland, biggest cities and high-tech industries. The lightly populated east where the crash happened is popular with tourists, many of whom travel there by train to avoid mountain roads.

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