Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

17 people have been killed after train derails in Taiwan: Railway administration

17 people have been killed after train derails in Taiwan: Railway administration

Carriages are scattered at the site of a train derailment in Lian in northern Taiwan on Sunday.

The Taiwan Railways Administration said in a statement posted to its website that an express train traveling south from Shulin District in New Taipei City to the city of Taidong jumped the tracks just before 5 p.m. local time. Some passengers were crushed to death, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. "They were crushed, so they died right away".

The train, Puyuma Express 6432, went off the tracks between the Dongshan and Suxin stations in Yilan county, near Taipei, at about 5pm, the semi-official Central News Agency and mass-circulation United Daily News reported.

Taiwan's central government said that rescue services were at the scene and that the premier had been notified; he was said to be "highly concerned" about the safety of the travelers.

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Local television reports said passengers were trying to escape through train windows and that bystanders had gathered to help before rescuers arrived.

More than 20 soldiers had joined firefighters in their rescue work.

The six-year-old train was inspected in 2017, when major maintenance was also carried out, the director of the Taiwan Railways Administration, Lu Chie-shen, told a televised news conference.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

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