“Taroko” Train kills 36 people in a derailment colliding with a truck – Hualien, Taiwan

On April 2, 2021 (Friday), a collision between a limited express train and a truck occurred on the North Link Line of the Taiwan Railways Administration, and it seems that train drivers and many passengers were killed or injured.

Taiwan Railways TEMU1000 type train used for "Taroko" Express (伯耆守/PIXTA)
Taiwan Railways TEMU1000 type train used for “Taroko” Express (伯耆守/PIXTA)

The accident occurred near the Daqingshui Tunnel (Hualien County) between Heren Station and Chongde Station in eastern Taiwan (see the figure below for a map of the accident site). According to reports from the local media CNA and Union News, the second and third cars of the 408th train of the “Taroko” express from Shulin Station to Taitung Station derailed, and the rear 6 cars of the 8-car train stopped in the tunnel. Some vehicles appear to be heavily deformed by hitting a wall of the tunnel.

Rescue works are being carried out sequentially from both sides of the tunnel, but it has been reported that at least 36 people are in cardiopulmonary arrest, 72 are being taken to hospital and more than 20 mildly ill people are waiting to be taken to hospital. There are also reports that the death of the train driver has been confirmed. April 2 (Friday) is the first day of the four consecutive holidays of Qingming Festival in Taiwan, and the Taroko Express was among with almost full 374 passengers.

The cause of the accident has not been clarified now, but it is presumed that a work truck parked on the slope beside the railroad track near the entrance of the tunnel slipped onto the railroad track, and the train plunged into it, causing derailment.

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