A busy passenger train carrying 490 people has derailed in a tunnel in eastern Taiwan, killing at least 48 and injuring dozens more, authorities said, as rescue efforts to free those trapped continue.
The eight car train, traveling to Taitung, came off the rails in a tunnel just north of Hualien Friday morning, causing several carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel, the government-run Central News Agency (CNA) reported, citing the fire department. Reports said the train smashed into a truck that fell down an embankment and landed on the tracks. Cars two and three appeared to have jumped the tracks, and smashed into the tunnel wall. The train driver is among the 48 dead, the fire department told the country’s executive office. 66 survivors are being treated in at least six hospitals in the surrounding Hualien County, while an unknown number of people are still stuck in carriages that were badly damaged in the accident. Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung told that the train was actually carrying about 490 people. The crash is the island’s worst rail disaster in decades.