The eight automotive prepare, touring to Taitung, got here off the rails in a tunnel simply north of Hualien Friday morning, inflicting a number of carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel, the government-run Central Information Company (CNA) reported, citing the fireplace division.
The prepare driver was among the many lifeless, the fireplace division advised the federal government’s govt workplace, and at the least 69 survivors have been being handled in a number of hospitals within the surrounding Hualien County.
A few of the lifeless are nonetheless awaiting identification, the federal government added Friday, however authorities consider that everybody trapped throughout the prepare’s closely broken carriages have been eliminated. Officers stated a French citizen was killed within the crash, whereas two Japanese residents and a citizen of Macau have been amongst these injured.
Authorities earlier stated 51 individuals had died earlier than revising the determine all the way down to 50.
The derailment might have been brought on by a car which slipped from a slope close to the tunnel and hit the transferring prepare, in accordance with CNA.
A video on social media confirmed components of an industrial car heavy gear, together with what appears like a automotive door beside the derailed prepare. Within the video, a person might be heard saying, “Our prepare hit the truck. The place is that this place? Qingshui Tunnel, the accident occurred at Qingshui Tunnel. The prepare hit the truck, the truck fell off. It is fortunate that I used to be on the later carriage — I used to be on the fourth carriage.”
“Is everybody out in carriage 4?” a lady is heard shouting from contained in the tunnel, in movies offered by the fireplace division.
Photographs of the crash scene present carriages contained in the tunnel crumbled and ripped other than the influence, passengers gathering suitcases and luggage in a tilted, derailed carriage and others strolling alongside the tracks suffering from wreckage. Photographs present the rescue operation underway, with passengers strolling on high of the prepare to go away the tunnel and being helped down.
At the very least 156 individuals have been injured within the crash, an area authorities official stated throughout a information convention. The official stated rescuers believed there was nobody left within the prepare, however that rescue efforts would proceed and authorities have been checking to see if anybody was nonetheless unaccounted for.
“In response to a prepare derailment in Hualien, Taiwan, our emergency companies have been absolutely mobilized to rescue & help the passengers & railway employees affected,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen stated on Twitter. “We are going to proceed to do the whole lot we are able to to make sure their security within the wake of this heartbreaking incident.”
The federal government has additionally laid out a compensation plan for each passenger, which is able to see NT$5.3 million ($185,500) offered to the households of every fatality. These badly injured will every obtain $91,000 and different injured passengers will obtain $14,000, officers stated.
The accident coincided simply as a protracted weekend kicked off for the Tomb Sweeping Day public vacation. One couple who have been on the prepare advised CNA they have been on their option to Taitung to brush tombs and pay their respects to deceased members of the family, as is conventional for the occasion. The prepare was so full that many individuals have been standing.
The crash website is situated simply east of the picturesque Taroko Nationwide Park, a well-liked vacationer vacation spot on the island’s mountainous east coast.
Leaders of close by nations prolonged their sympathies to the victims and provided help to Taiwanese authorities. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated he would “sincerely pray for the souls of those that have died,” whereas Japan’s former chief Shinzo Abe tweeted: “As a pal of the Taiwanese individuals, we are going to do something we are able to to assist, if wanted, on this troublesome time.”
In 2018, 18 individuals died and 175 have been injured when a prepare derailed in northeastern Taiwan, within the island’s worst rail catastrophe in additional than three many years.
Extra reporting by Reuters.