At least 48 killed as train crashes, derails in tunnel in Taiwan

at 5:52 pm
Taiwan tunnel

New Delhi (NVI): At least 48 people have been killed and dozens more injured after a train carrying nearly 500 people crashed and then derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan.

The eight-carriage train hit a construction vehicle that had slipped onto the tracks at the tunnel’s mouth, according to media reports.

The 408 Taroko Express was travelling south on the first day of a long weekend, carrying hundreds of passengers towards Taitung, when it crashed inside a tunnel just outside Hualien City at about 9.30am local time.

The 408 Express is one of the fastest deployed on a network that is generally considered safe. It can reach speeds of 130km/h (80mph).

Hundreds of emergency and military personnel, vehicles and aircraft were dispatched to the scene, where at least 70 people were trapped for hours.

At least 48 people, including the train’s 33-year-old driver and a six-year-old girl, were reported by the transport ministry to have died.

More than 150 were taken to hospitals with injuries, two of whom later died, and 15 were discharged after examination.

President Tsai Ing-wen took to Twitter and wrote, “In response to a train derailment in Hualien, Taiwan, our emergency services have been fully mobilized to rescue & assist the passengers & railway staff affected. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.”