Train crashes in eastern Taiwan killing dozens

Taipei: A train partially derailed along Taiwan’s east coast, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, police said.

Local media reported 350 passengers were on board.

Reports said a truck fell from a cliff above and landed on the tracks, where a train emerging from a tunnel smashed into it.

A passenger, centre, is helped to climb out of a derailed train in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan on Friday.Credit:hsnewsTV/AP

With much of the train still trapped in the tunnel, escaping passengers were forced to scale doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.

The crash occurred near the Toroko Gorge scenic area around 9am, local time, on Friday the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival.

At least 36 people died and 72 were injured, the Transport Ministry said.

Rescue workers are seen near the site of a partial train derailment in Toroko Gorge in Taiwan’s eastern Hualien region on Friday.Credit:National Fire Agency/AP

Television footage and photos posted by people at the scene on the website of the official Central News Agency showed people climbing out of the open door of a railcar just outside the entrance to the tunnel. The inside of one car was pushed all the way into the adjacent seat.

Taiwan’s last major rail crash was in October 2018 when an express train derailed while rounding a tight corner on the northeast coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring nearly 200.

In 1991, a collision in western Taiwan killed 30 people and injured 112 in its deadliest train accident.

AP, Reuters

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