A passenger train carrying an estimated 350 people has derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan, killing at least 36 and injuring dozens more.
The 408 Taroko Express came off the rails in a tunnel in the north of Hualien on Friday morning, April 2, causing several carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel, the government-run Central News Agency reported, citing the fire department.
The express train was travelling south towards Taitung on first day of a long weekend for the traditional Tomb Sweeping holiday, which sees extensive travel across the island.
The train driver and 35 passengers were killed, according to Taiwan’s Premier, Su Tseng-chang. 81 people have been injured, some in severe condition, while eight people are still stuck in carriages that were badly damaged in the accident.
CNA said a truck that was “not parked properly” was suspected of sliding into the path of the train.
The fire department showed a picture of what appeared to be the truck’s wreckage lying next to part of the derailed train.
“In response to a train derailment in Hualien, Taiwan, our emergency services have been fully mobilized to rescue & assist the passengers & railway staff affected,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Twitter.
“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.”