Dozens of people have died in a train crash in eastern Taiwan, what could be the country’s worst rail disaster in decades.
At least 3 people were killed and 44 injured in the transport ministry. The fire department said the death toll was likely to rise further.
The train was traveling from Taipei to the southeastern city of Taitong on Friday morning. The train derailed on Friday morning at a natural end of the coastal line where marble falls into the Pacific Ocean.
The government said the accident was believed to be a construction vehicle that fell over the track from the highway. The train derailed after colliding with a vehicle and then hit the wall of the tunnel.
According to the Ministry of Transport and local media accounts, the first four of the train’s eight vehicles were deformed and half of the driver’s cabin was cut off. Rescuers were taken until noon to gain access to the train.
The crash happened on the first day of a four-day vacation, usually during a busy trip. Many Taipei residents travel to the east, a popular tourist destination, and people return to the country.
Footage from a site broadcast on local television showed passengers walking along the railway line.
In 2018, 18 people were killed and 175 injured in a train crash in northeastern Taiwan.
Eastern Taiwan is bordered by mountains from the rest of the island. The area where the accident took place is known for dangerous traffic conditions. The only road that connects the main town of Hulien to the north of the main island is crossed by narrow curves at several places.
A year ago, an improved road was opened around several dangerous sections with tunnels. Due to the frequent cliffs, the old road also requires almost constant repair work.