Truck probed in deadly Taiwan train crash

Joanna Estrada
April 4, 2021

Pictures published by local newspaper UDN showed the front of the train inside the tunnel had been pulverised into a twisted mesh of metal.

At least 51 people were killed in Taiwan on Friday when a packed train collided with a vehicle on the tracks and then derailed inside a tunnel, in the island's worst railway accident in decades.

Friday's crash looks set to be one of Taiwan's worst railway accidents on record.

"Car number eight had the most serious injuries and number of deaths", rescue worker Chang Zi-chen told reporters on Saturday, referring to the most forward passenger vehicle.

On Saturday the unnamed construction site manager was released on $15,000 (£11,000) bail after prosecutors sought a warrant for his arrest.

He said a construction truck whose owner was a contractor for the administration slid from a work site above the track.

Five of the train's eight cars lodged inside the tunnel, according to Taiwan News. In the video, a man can be heard saying, "Our train hit the truck".

The most recent accident with a higher death toll than this Friday occurred on October 31, 2019, in Pakistan, where a train fire in Punyab province left at least 74 dead. "It's lucky that I was at the later carriage - I was at the fourth carriage".

Pictures show cars destroyed by the impact and other parts of the train were dented, making it hard for rescuers to help the injured, although by mid-afternoon local time it was not 'there were more stranded passengers.

The devastating collision killed at least 51 people and injured almost 190.

The president's office said in a statement that she had ordered hospitals to prepare for the arrival of large numbers of injuries, stressing that "the priority is to rescue the stranded people".

Premier Su Tseng-chang, who visited the accident site, apologised to the passengers for the accident and sent his condolences to the victims' families. "We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident".

Train travel is popular during Taiwan's four-day Tomb Sweeping holiday, when families often return to hometowns to pay respects at the gravesites of their elders.

She had told him that many passengers were crying and screaming, and some passengers' legs had been crushed by luggage.

Numerous passengers would have been traveling for the first day of the four-day Qingming, or Tomb Sweeping Festival - an annual pilgrimage to the gravesites of ancestors. The woman, who was not identified, explained that "many people were stuck under the seats".

Taiwan's mountainous east coast is a tourist destination.

Leaders of nearby countries extended their sympathies to the victims and offered assistance to Taiwanese authorities.

The government has promised compensation and said it will do everything it can to help survivors and their relatives, including coordinating public donations.

Manila: At many as 48 people were killed and 118 injured after a train ferrying 490 passengers derailed in Taiwan's Hualien County on Friday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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