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Hualien train derailment

Hualien train derailment
TRA TEMU1000 Tze-Chiang Ltd-Exp Taroko North Link Line Heren Chongde 20190618.JPG
A Taroko Express train similar to the involved trainset, photographed at a different location
Details
Date2 April 2021
09:28 NST (01:28 UTC)
LocationDaqingshui Tunnel, Xiulin, Hualien County, Taiwan
Between Heren and Chongde (51.25km from Su'aoxin railway station)
Coordinates24°13′01″N 121°41′18″E / 24.2169°N 121.6883°E / 24.2169; 121.6883Coordinates: 24°13′01″N 121°41′18″E / 24.2169°N 121.6883°E / 24.2169; 121.6883
Country Republic of China (Taiwan)
LineNorth-link line, Eastern Trunk line
OperatorTaiwan Railways Administration
OwnerTaiwan Railways Administration
Service408 Taroko Express bound for Taitung Station
Incident typeDerailment, collision
Statistics
Trains1
Passengers488[1]
Crew4[1]
Deaths50[2][3]
Injured156[4]

On 2 April 2021, a Taroko Express train operated by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) derailed in Hualien County, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 150 others.[1][2][3][4][5] It happened at the north entrance of Qingshui Tunnel in Heren Section, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan at 9:28 am on April 2, 2021. At the time of the accident, the train was carrying 488 passengers.[1][6] The eight-carriage train derailed in a tunnel north of Hualien City, reportedly after a construction truck fell down a slope and crashed into the train.[7]

It is the deadliest train crash in Taiwan since the 1991 Miaoli train collision, which killed 30 people.[8]

Background

The weekend of the accident was a four-day weekend that included the celebration of the Tomb Sweeping festival, and is typically a period of high traffic, with people visiting the graves of friends and family.[8][9] Many passengers had been standing at the time of the accident, owing to the excessive crowd on the train that day.[10]

The trainsets of the Taroko Express have a total of 376 seats each.[11] Because the Taroko Express trains tilt at high speeds, causing enough sway that passengers may have trouble walking around while the train is in motion, the TRA originally did not sell standing tickets for these trains due to safety considerations.[12] However, in order to increase the supply of available tickets during periods of high demand, the TRA began selling up to 120 standing tickets for each trainset on 2 May 2019, after it said it had performed detailed safety tests.[12]

Accident

At 09:28 NST (01:28 UTC), a southbound 408 Taroko Express train approaching Chongde Station derailed as it entered the Chingshui Tunnel south of Heren Station and north of Hualien City.[13][14] It was carrying 488 passengers and three staff in eight carriages.[1][9] According to media reports, the train derailed when a maintenance truck for an adjacent highway project that had not been safely parked fell onto the tracks and was struck by the front of the train. People who were walking on foot at the station were not hit.[8][10]

The front of the train, cars No. 8 and 7 which impacted the construction truck as the train entered the tunnel was severely deformed. The remaining cars then struck the walls of the tunnel, causing major damage. Cars No. 8 to 3 are believed to be trapped in the tunnel when the train came to a halt.[15]

Casualties

At least 50 people were confirmed dead during the incident, including forty-eight passengers, the train driver and a train's assistant,[16][2][3] while another 156 were taken to a hospital, several in critical condition. The majority of the deceased were in the carriage 7 and 8. Seventy-two people remained trapped in the wreckage of the train.[3] Classes from an asylum, an elementary school, and a university were among the passengers; three students died and thirty-one more were wounded.[17] A citizen from France is among the dead, while two citizens from Japan and one from Macao are among the wounded.[18]

Response

Medical officers assist with the rescue effort

More than 150 emergency personnel, including search and rescue workers and members of the military, were dispatched to the derailment site.[9] The driver of the maintenance truck was taken into police custody for questioning.[13] Over 80 people were evacuated from the train's front four carriages, while the remaining four were described as "deformed" and harder to access.[10]

Among those who visited the crash site were the Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung and Minister of Interior Hsu Kuo-yung, along with other local government officials.[19][3]

The Taiwan Transportation Safety Board will ultimately conduct an investigation into the accident.

Reaction

American Institute in Taiwan, European Economic and Trade Office, John Dennis of British Office Taipei,[20] Japan–Taiwan Exchange Association[21], and China's Taiwan Affairs Office and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits offered condolence.[22][23]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Wang, Cindy (2 April 2021). "High-Speed Train Derails in Taiwan's East Coast, Killing 41". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Passenger train carrying 490 derails in Taiwan, killing at least 50 and injuring dozens". cnn.com. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Zhang Qi, Guo Zhixuan, and Yu Xiaohan (2 April 2021). "台鐵太魯閣號事故 含司機員在內已知51死【更新】" (in Chinese). Central News Agency. Retrieved 2 April 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Amy Qin; Amy Chang Chien (1 April 2021). "Taiwan Train Derails in Tunnel, Killing at Least 1 Person". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Train derails in Taiwan, many feared dead". CNN. Reuters. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  6. ^ Chang Chi; Lu Tai-cheng; Frances Huang (2 April 2021). "Multiple passengers reported with 'no vital signs' in train derailment". Taipei. Focus Taiwan. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  7. ^ Coote, Darryl (2 April 2021). "Train derails in Taiwan; at least 4 dead, several injured". UPI.
  8. ^ a b c "Taiwan: At least 34 killed after train derails inside tunnel". BBC News. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Davidson, Helen (2 April 2021). "Taiwan train crash: dozens dead after express service derails in tunnel". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Blanchard, Ben (1 April 2021). "Taiwan train crash kills 36 in deadliest rail tragedy in decades". Reuters. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  11. ^ https://archive.is/20180228041110/http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2012/01/18/2003523487
  12. ^ a b https://archive.is/20210402114744/https://news.pts.org.tw/article/430483
  13. ^ a b "36 reported with no vital signs, 44 injured in train derailment". Focus Taiwan. Central News Agency. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  14. ^ Everington, Keoni (2 April 2021). "36 lose vital signs after train derails in eastern Taiwan". Taiwan News. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  15. ^ Everington, Keoni (2 April 2021). "Home Society 36 lose vital signs after train derails in eastern Taiwan". Taiwan News. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  16. ^ Wang Junqi; Wang Jinyi; Hua Mengjing; Yuta Lang (2 April 2021). "太魯閣號清水隧道出軌 釀51死146輕重傷(不斷更新)" [Taroko Qingshui Tunnel derailed, causing 51 deaths and 146 minor and serious injuries (continuous update)]. ltn.com.tw (in Chinese). Taipei, Taiwan. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  17. ^ "台鐵出軌》已知學生3死31傷 幼兒園學童不幸罹難". ltn.com.tw (in Chinese). 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  18. ^ "台鐵出軌》已知51死、146人受傷 死者將賠540萬". ltn.com.tw (in Chinese). 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  19. ^ Yu Xiaohan. "台鐵太魯閣號出軌 林佳龍、徐國勇趕赴現場" (in Chinese). Central News Agency. Central News Agency. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  20. ^ "太魯閣號事故 美英法澳歐盟駐台機構發文哀悼慰問". Taiwan Central News Agency (in Traditional Chinese). 2 April 2021.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  21. ^ "太魯閣號事故 日本前首相安倍與參議員蓮舫送暖". Taiwan Central News Agency (in Trandtional Chinese). 2 April 2020.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  22. ^ "国台办、海协会对台铁列车出轨事故伤亡台胞及家属表示哀悼和慰问". Taiwan Affairs Office (in Simplified Chinese). 2 April 2021.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  23. ^ "國臺辦:對臺鐵列車出軌事故表達高度關切". Taiwan Affairs Office (in Traditional Chinese). 2 April 2021.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)

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