Ain a tunnel, killing at least 48 passengers and injuring 66 in the island’s worst rail disaster in nearly four decades.
Images from the scene showed carriages in the tunnel ripped apart by the impact, with others crumpled, hindering rescuers in their efforts to reach passengers. However, by mid-afternoon, no one was still trapped.
“People just fell all over each other, on top of one another,” athe crash told local television.
It was terrifying. There were whole families there.
The crash on Friday, north of the eastern city of Hualien,carrying many tourists and people heading home at the start of a long weekend traditional holiday to tend to family graves. are seen near a partial train derailment site in Toroko Gorge in Taiwan’s eastern Hualian region on 2 April 2021.
Taiwan media said manywere standing as the train was so crowded and were thrown about by the crash impact. The media showed pictures of survivors being led out of the tunnel.
The train, traveling from Taipei, the capital, to the southeastern city of Taitung, came off the rails after reportedly hitting a truck that had slid off the road from a nearby construction site.
At the site, Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung told reporters it had been carrying about 490 people, higher than an earlier figure of 350 provided by fire authorities.
Theof having slid off the sloping road into the train’s path, as its handbrake had not been engaged, and police had taken in its driver for questioning.
The fire department showed a picture of the truck’s wreckage beside the derailed train, with an aerial image of one end of the train still on the track next to the construction site. Images showed an injured passenger carried away on a stretcher, with her head and neck in a brace, while others gathered suitcases and bags in a tilted, derailed carriage as some walked on the roof of the train to leave the tunnel. The railway administration said that passengers in some train carriages still in the tunnel had to be led to safety.
The accident came at the beginning of a longholiday.
Taiwan’s mountainousis a tourist destination. The railway that snakes down from Taipei hugs the coast and is known for its tunnels, in one of which the crash took place.
In 2018, 18 people died, and 175 were injured when ain the island’s northeast. In 1981, 30 were , while a train crash in 1991 killed 30.