34 killed in Taiwan train derailment (Ld)


At least 34 people were killed in a train derailment in Taiwan on Friday, authorities said, adding that 72 passengers were still trapped.

At 9.28 a.m. (local time), the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) No. 408 Taroko train en route from Shulin, New Taipei, to Taitung, suddenly derailed as it entered the Daqingshui tunnel, reports Taiwan News.

The train comprised eight carriages and had more than 350 passengers on board.

The accident took place on the first day of Taiwan’s Tomb Sweeping Festival.

According to the railway police, first responders arriving at the scene found that at least 36 passengers had suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, while 61 had been sent to the hospital.

In a statement, the TRA said a construction vehicle of a highway project that was improperly parked is believed to have rolled down a slope and collided with the train, which caused the derailment.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has instructed the authorities to continue their rescue activities and to comprehensively investigate the cause of the accident, dpa news agency reported.

The last major train accident in Taiwan was in October 2018, when 18 people died.