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Pics/Vids: Massive train crash in Taiwan; at least 50 dead, 100+ injured

Passengers disembark a train in Taiwan after it derailed, April 2, 2021. (YouTube screenshot)
April 02, 2021

On Friday, a Taiwan passenger train with 490 people onboard derailed inside of a tunnel, killing 50 people, and injuring at least 156 more, according to CNN.

The eight-car Taroko Express train was traveling from New Taipei City to Taitung when it derailed at a tunnel in Hualien at around 9:30 a.m. local time. According to Reuters, the train derailed after hitting a truck, though it was not immediately clear why a truck was on the train tracks.

Passengers could be seen on video, walking across the top of the train to exit the tunnel and climb down from the train.

Agenda Free TV anchor Steve Lookner tweeted, “New angle of the scene of the Taiwan train derailment. So I’m assuming the truck that fell into the train came from where the construction equipment is on the top right?”

Lookner added, “Diagram from Taiwan’s national news agency showing where truck fell from,” appearing to show the truck did fall from a nearby raised platform where other construction equipment was located.

Reuters tweeted, “A Taiwan express train with almost 500 aboard derailed in a tunnel, killing dozens and injuring many in the island’s worst rail disaster in almost four decades.”

Video from inside the tunnel shows the passageway filled with scattered debris.

Some train passengers were also reportedly trapped on board.

Taiwan News tweeted, “Video shows scene of deadly train derailment in Hualien, Taiwan.”

Following the crash, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen tweeted, “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.”

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang said nine of those injured were in critical condition and said the Taiwanese government will “do our best to make sure all people affected are in good care.”

Al Jazeera+ tweeted, “A train crash in Taiwan killed at least 48 people and wounded over 100. Officials say it is Taiwan’s worst train disaster in decades. The train derailed and crashed into a tunnel — trapping passengers including many families: “We had to climb onto the carriage roof to walk out.”

A French national was reportedly among those killed, while those injured included people visiting from Japan and the Chinese territory of Macua.

The train derailment in Taiwan comes one week after a train derailment in Egypt that resulted in at least 32 deaths and injuries to 66 more passengers. That train was traveling from southern Egypt to the Mediterranean city of Cairo and derailed in the Egyptian town of Sohag.