At least 17 people are killed after passenger train derails in Taiwan

21 October, 2018, 18:26 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Rescuers tend to injured passengers after a train derailed in Yilan Taiwan. Military News Agency  Handout via Reuters

A train derailment in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday killed at least 17 people and injured 126, government authorities said.

The accident took place on Sunday afternoon in Yilan county, with several carriages overturned on a coastal railway popular among tourists.

The Puyuma express train was carrying more than 360 passengers to Taitung city when it derailed at 4.50pm local time in the rural township of Tungshan, the transportation ministry's railway administration said. "Their train vehicle turned over".

The National Fire Agency cited the Cabinet spokesman's office as saying 22 people were killed and 171 injured in the disaster.

Images from the site showed the high-speed Puyuma Express train completely derailed and lying zig-zagged across the track. Five of the cars were on their sides.


Magistrate of Yilan County, Chen Chin-te (陳金德), said the cause of the accident is still to be identified.

When he arrived at the scene he saw local residents helping train passengers to escape.

Taiwan has an extensive train network and more than half a million passengers travel on the system every day. About 120 soldiers joined firefighters in the rescue work.

President Tsai Ing-wen has described the incident as a "major tragedy" in a post on Twitter, adding: "My thoughts are with all the victims and their families".

The worst crash in recent years was in 2003 when 17 died and 156 were injured after a train on the Alishan mountain railway plunged into a chasm at the side of the track.

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