The train, which was traveling from the nation's capital of Taipei to the city of Taitung, was carrying around 490 people

By Nicholas Rice
April 02, 2021 09:24 AM
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China Taiwan Train Derail
Credit: CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock

A train crash in Taiwan has left at least 51 people dead and dozens more injured, according to multiple reports.

On Friday, a Taiwan express train was traveling with hundreds of passengers aboard when it derailed in a tunnel just north of the city of Hualien, per Reuters.

The train, which was traveling from the nation's capital Taipei to the city of Taitung, was carrying around 490 people, a figure higher than one originally provided by fire authorities, the outlet added, citing Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung.

The train derailed after hitting a truck that had slid off the road from a construction site located nearby.

Surviving passengers had to escape the wreck by climbing out of the train's doors and windows, before walking along the transport vehicle's roof to get to safety, the Associated Press reported.

taiwan train derailment
Credit: CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock

Taiwan's National Fire Agency confirmed the current death toll of 51 from the incident, which included the train's young driver, who was just recently married, according to CBS News.

The outlet added that all aboard the vehicle have now been accounted for.

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"Many people were crushed under train seats in the collision," an unidentified passenger on the train told Taiwanese broadcaster EBC, per the AP. "And there were other people on top of the seats."

"So those at the bottom were pressed and crushed and lost consciousness," the passenger added. "At the beginning, they still responded when we called them. But I guess they lost consciousness afterward."

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Following the incident, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shared a statement on Twitter, writing, "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," he added.

Taiwan's last major rail crash occurred back in October 2018, per the AP, when an express train derailed while going around a tight corner. The incident killed at least 18 people and injured nearly 200 others.