Truck driver questioned in Taiwan train accident

Remigio Civitarese
Апреля 4, 2021

The 408 train is one of the fastest deployed on Taiwan's network and can reach speeds of 130km/h (80mph).

Belize has extended condolences to the Republic of China (Taiwan) after a passenger train carrying 490 people derailed in a tunnel in eastern Taiwan this morning, killing at least 50 and injuring dozens more.

According to the government's disaster relief centre, the truck's emergency brake was not properly engaged. It's estimated authorities have been able to rescue around 100 people from these carriages, which were violently crumpled upon impact.

"When such a thing happens, I feel very sorry and I will take full responsibility", Lin said after touring the site.

"We broke the window to climb to the roof of the train to get out".

Another injured passenger said many were crushed underneath the train seats, which caused them to lose consciousness.

Rescue workers remove a part of the derailed train near Taroko Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan on Saturday.

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.

"People just fell all over each other, on top of one another", a woman who survived the crash told domestic television, according to Reuters.

"At the beginning, they still responded when we called them. But I guess they lost consciousness afterwards".

Grieving relatives of those who died in Taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades held prayers at the crash site on Saturday as salvage crews worked to remove the tangled mass of wrecked carriages.

The families of the victims cry as they mourn near Taroko Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan.

The train was en route from the capital, Taipei, to Taitung along the island's southeast coast, when the crash and derailment occurred in Hualien near the stunning Taroko Gorge scenic area.

An aerial view shows rescue workers at the site where a train derailed inside a tunnel in the mountains of Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on Friday, April 2.

Other images of the scene showed the back of a yellow flatbed truck on its side next to the train.

The vehicle slipped down a steep embankment and prosecutors are working on whether the driver either failed to secure the parking brake, or the brake suffered a mechanical failure. "We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident".

Survivors reported that the train driver was honking his horn shortly before the crash but did not - or was unable to - slow down before striking the truck.

The last major train derailment in Taiwan was in 2018 and left 18 people dead at the southern end of the same line.

That crash was the island's worst since 1991, when 30 passengers were killed.

Thirty were also killed in 1981 after a truck collided with a passenger train at a level crossing and sent coaches over a bridge in Hsinchu.

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