Train derailment death toll revised to 18

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA)-A Puyuma express train that derailed at 4:50 p.m. in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan Sunday has caused 18 deaths and left 168 injured, including 10 seriously injured, as of 10 p.m. according to the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).

The death toll was revised down from 22 and the number of injured from 171 from an hour earlier due to the error of double counting,the Yilan fire department said. The train that departed from New Taipei bound for Taitung had 366 passengers on board. An American woman was slightly injured, according to Yilan firefighters.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the American woman is hospitalized in Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong in the county. The ministry has informed the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) of the woman’s situation and the AIT has made contact with the woman, the
ministry said.

The TRA said the derailment is the most serious train accident in 37 years.

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Haiti have conveyed their condolences to the government and people of Taiwan on the tragedy, the ministry said, adding that it was grateful to the countries for their concern.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) arrived in Yilan to coordinate search and rescue efforts and visited the victims at the hospitals.

The rescue operations will continue through the night until allthe passengers have been found.

Both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the major opposition Kuomintang (KMT) announced that their candidates in the November local elections will halt all campaign activities to help carry out the research and rescue mission.