At least 54 people have died so far including the conductor after a train derailed inside a tunnel in Hualien County while 156 were injured.
A Taroko Express train carrying 490 people from Shulin, New Taipei City was headed to Taitung when an unbraked construction vehicle collided with it when it was entering the Daqingshui Tunnel in Xiulin, Hualien County, at 9:28 a.m.
“There was a construction vehicle that didn’t park properly and slid onto the rail track,” said Hualien county police chief Tsai Ding-Hsien,
Because of the collision, the second and third passenger trains were slammed into the walls of the tunnel as it dragged the fourth and the fifth.
The four last cabs of the train were left inside of the tunnel after the collision.
According to the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), most of the casualties were from the last cab of the train.
The Taiwanese Central Emergency Operation Center shared a video showing the tunnel interior where rescuers are trying to rescue passengers trapped inside the cabs.
TRA reported that the injured have been sent for treatment to several hospitals in the region or are receiving first aid at the nearby Chongde Railway Station.
President Tsai Ing-wen said she had ordered hospitals to prepare for a mass casualty event while the government started setting up emergency centers and clearing roads near the accident site.
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