Taiwan: Train Derail Inside the Tunnel Kills About 34 People

At least 34 people have died after a train carrying some 350 passengers derailed inside a tunnel in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation center says rescuers are struggling to access four carriages inside the tunnel that are “badly damaged”.

More than 72 people are injured said as per the information, quoting the local transport ministry.

The accident occurred at the beginning of the annual Tomb Sweeping festival, a typically high traffic period.

Pictures online showed people in unaffected carriages walking along train tracks with their belongings.

“It felt like there was a sudden violent jolt which I found myself falling to the bottom,” an unidentified female survivor told Taiwan’s UDN.

“We broke the window to climb to the roof of the train to urge out.”

According to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, a variety of individuals remain trapped inside the train.

“Emergency rescue mechanisms are put in situ for the sick and injured. Rescuing those trapped is our highest priority now.”

The eight-carriage train is believed to possess derailed at around 09:00 civil time (01:00 GMT). Local media reports say the accident occurred when a maintenance vehicle fell onto the trail of the train.

Many of these on the train is believed to be tourists celebrating the Tomb Sweeping festival – a time when people visit the graves of friends and family, sprucing them up and making offerings to their spirits.

People typically travel during this point to pay their respects to the dead.

The fire department said that up to 100 people were evacuated from four of the train’s carriages.

“An accident occurred this morning at a tunnel in Hualien,” said Ms Tsai.

Friday’s crash appears to be one among Taiwan’s worst accidents in decades.

The last major train derailment in Taiwan was in 2018, which left 18 people dead. The island’s worst crash in recent history was in 1991 when 30 passengers were killed and 112 injured after two trains collided.

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