At least 48 people were killed in a train accident in Taiwan, and dozens were injured

At least 48 people were killed in a train accident in Taiwan, and dozens were injured

At least 48 people were killed and dozens injured when a train derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan on Friday.

Officials said 66 people have been hospitalized as the island suffered its worst train disaster in decades.

Taiwan Red Cross said it was on the spot and Help free the passengers Occurred in the accident.

“Our emergency services are fully mobilized to rescue and assist the affected passengers and railway workers,” said Taiwan President Cai Ingwen. He said on Twitter

“We will continue to do our utmost to ensure their safety after this tragic accident,” he added.

The fire department said the train had 8 cars and 350 passengers, and it is believed that there are many tourists and people who are returning home at the start of a long weekend.

The Taroko Express, traveling from the capital, Taipei on the country’s southeast coast, was derailed while part of it was in a tunnel after colliding, apparently with a truck passing by a nearby construction site.

The official Central News Agency said the truck was suspected of slipping off the slope into the track of the train due to the lack of a handbrake. The fire department showed a photo of what appeared to be the wreck of a truck next to the derailed train.

“Our train collided with a truck,” a man said in a Taiwanese TV video showing pictures of the wreckage. “The truck fell to the ground.”

Pictures from the accident site show that some vehicles were torn apart in a collision, while others had crashed, impeding rescue workers’ access to passengers.

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Pictures showed passengers climbing to the sides of the train in search of safety, while rescue efforts continued at the crash site north of Hualien, eastern Taiwan.

This published photo, taken by the Taiwan Red Cross on April 2, 2021, shows rescue crews helping passengers after a train derailed in a tunnel in the Hualien Mountains in eastern Taiwan.HANDOUT / AFP – Getty Images

The accident occurred on the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival, an annual religious festival in which people travel to their hometowns for family gatherings and worship in the graves of their ancestors.

Taiwan is a mountainous island where 24 million people are crammed along the northern and western coasts on flat ground. The sparsely populated east is very popular with tourists, and many arrive via coastal railways to avoid the treacherous mountain roads.

Taipei East Coast Railway is famous for its tunnels and roads hugging the coast just north of Hualien City, where the accident occurred.

Taiwan’s comprehensive rail system has seen major improvements in recent years, most notably the addition of a high-speed line connecting the capital, Taipei, to cities in the south.

Government railways are generally reliable and efficient, but have an patchy safety record over the years.

In 2018, 18 people were killed and 175 injured when a train derailed in the northeast of the island. In 1981, 30 people were killed in a collision in the North, while in 1991 a train accident killed 30.

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