Train derails in eastern Taiwan, killing 48, injuring dozens

Taiwan train crash: At least 34 dead and dozens injured

Taiwan train crash: At least 34 dead and dozens injured

The vehicle apparently hit after the locomotive had emerged, causing the greatest damage to cars 1-5, according to the rescue department of Hualien county.

The National Fire Service confirmed the death toll, which included the train's young, newly married driver, and said all aboard had now been accounted for. Minutes later, the train's lead vehicle crashed into it, according to Railways Administration official Weng Hui-ping, just before the train entered a tunnel.

The Associated Press reported that the crash occurred on Friday at about 9 a.m. near the Toroko Gorge.

Local media images from the scene showed the back of a yellow flatbed truck on its side next to the train just a few metres from the tunnel entrance.

"We express our sympathies to those who have died and offer heartfelt condolences to the people who were involved in the accident", Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, Japan's top government spokesman, told a press conference.

Images showed an injured passenger carried away on a stretcher, with her head and neck in a brace, while others gathered suitcases and bags in a tilted, derailed carriage as some walked on the train's roof to exit the tunnel. It was carrying many tourists and people heading home at the start of a long weekend traditional holiday to tend to family tombs.

Footage released by the Taiwan Red Cross showed specialists with helmets and headlights had to use the roof of the stricken train to reach people inside the narrow single-track tunnel.

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An investigation has been launched into the crash, and there was no immediate word about any arrests.

In 1981, 30 were killed in a collision in northern Taiwan. The lightly populated east where the crash happened is popular with tourists, many of whom travel there by train to avoid mountain roads.

Numerous passengers would have been traveling for the first day of the four-day Qingming, or Tomb Sweeping Festival - an annual pilgrimage to the gravesites of ancestors.

In a tweet, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said emergency services "have been fully mobilised to rescue & assist the passengers & railway staff affected". He said the speed of the train was not known. "We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident".

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang said the Railways Administration would be required to immediately conduct checks along other track lines to "prevent this from happening again".

That crash was the island's worst since 1991, when 30 passengers were killed and 112 injured after two trains collided in Miaoli. He said the crash was the worst-ever in Taiwan.

A train in Taiwan was derailed on Friday morning, killing at least four people.

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