TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — CNN, Reuters, The Associated Press, The Agence France Presse, NHK and many other foreign media reported on the Taroko Express train carrying about 350 passengers that derailed in a tunnel in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Friday.
As of press time, the Railway Police Bureau (RPB) reported that 36 passengers displayed “no vital signs,” more than 60 people were injured and more than 70 people were trapped in the train’s debris.
The BBC quoted the “Central Emergency Operation Center” (中央災害應變中心) which said that rescuers are trying to get into four seriously damaged carriages stuck in the tunnel.
The No. 408 Taroko train, which derailed at 9:28 a.m., featured eight carriages. It departed from Shulin, New Taipei, and headed to Taitung.
Reuters quoted the fire department as saying that about 100 people had been evacuated from the first four carriages of the train.
In response to a train derailment in Hualien, Taiwan, our emergency services have been fully mobilized to rescue & assist the passengers & railway staff affected. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) April 2, 2021
The Guardian pointed out that Taroko trains are among the fastest cars on Taiwan Railway, with a speed of 130 kilometers per hour on average. The train usually passes through popular scenic spots on the east coast, including mountains and canyons near Taroko National Park.
CNN reported that the last derailment accident of a Puyumat Express, which occurred in Taiwan in 2018, resulted in 18 deaths and 175 injuries, which was the most serious railway accident over the past 30 years.