Dozens killed as train crashes and derails in tunnel in Taiwan

Dozens killed as train crashes and derails in tunnel
Some passengers exited on to the roof to escape. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: At least 48 people have been killed in Taiwan and dozens other injured after a train carrying nearly 500 passengers crashed and then derailed in a tunnel.

The eight-carriage train reportedly hit an unmanned construction vehicle that had slipped onto the tracks at the tunnel’s mouth.

Rescuers are searching through badly damaged carriages inside the tunnel to find survivors, some of the passengers smashed windows to flee.

The train, which was bound from the capital Taipei to Taitung, was carrying people travelling for a long-weekend annual holiday.

Many passengers may have been standing because the train was so full.

The 408 train is one of the fastest deployed trains on a network that is generally considered safe. The train can reach speeds of 130km/h.

The crash on Friday is Taiwan’s worst rail disaster in decades. President Tsai Ing-wen has sent her condolences to the victims’ families and ordered an investigation.

The latest reports from Taiwan’s National Fire Agency say 490 people were on the train, with some 66 injured and at least 48 dead.

The Friday’s crash took place at about 09:00 local time (01:00 GMT).

Some passengers at the back of the carriage were able to walk away unscathed, while 100 were rescued from the first four carriages. Many of the injured, dead and trapped were in four crumpled carriages inside the tunnel.

One female survivor told Taiwan’s UDN.”It felt like there was a sudden violent jolt and I found myself falling to the floor. We broke the window to climb to the roof of the train to get out.”

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