Sci-tech

A look back at Taiwan's worst train accidents

A look back at Taiwan's worst train accidents”

Officials say the train crashed into an unattended truck that had rolled down a hill onto the tracks.

At least 36 people have died after a train derailed on Friday in eastern Taiwan, while 72 were injured as rescuers struggled to reach crushed carriages, the government said. "It was terrifying. There were whole families there". "The top priority now is to rescue the stranded people", it said in a statement.

The train came off the rails in a tunnel just north of Hualien causing some carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel.

The National Fire Service confirmed the death toll - which included the train's young, newly married driver and the assistant driver - and said more than 100 people were injured.

The eight-car train was making its way from Taipei to the southeastern city of Taitung and was carrying some 350 passengers.

An investigation has been launched, and Hualien police have interviewed one person, Weng said.

"At present it is suspected (that) the vehicle wasn't braked properly, (and) slid for around 20 meters along the site access road", Feng said.

The fire department showed a picture of what appeared to be wreckage of the truck beside the derailed train, with an aerial image of one end of the train still on the track next to the construction site.

"It felt like there was a sudden violent jolt and I found myself falling to the floor", one female survivor told Taiwan's UDN.

Enlarge this image
Enlarge this image

Minutes later, the train's lead vehicle crashed into it, according to Railways Administration official Weng Hui-ping, just before the train entered a tunnel.

And in 2003, 17 died and 156 were injured after a train on the Alishan mountain railway plunged into a chasm at the side of the track.

Passengers are assisted out of the train after it derailed in Taiwan, killed at least 51 people.

The accident came at the beginning of a long weekend for the traditional Tomb Sweeping Day holiday.

Taiwan's mountainous east coast is a tourist destination. The railway that travels from Taipei down the coast is known for its tunnels.

Many people may have been standing because the train was so full.

The train had only partially emerged from a tunnel, and with much of it still inside, many escaping passengers were forced to scramble out of doors and windows.

A collision between two trains resulted in 30 deaths and 112 injuries.

More news: The Netherlands suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine for under-60s



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