Taiwan Mourns After Deadliest Train Disaster In Decades

Taiwan mourns after deadliest train disaster in decades

Hualien, Taiwan, April 3 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Apr, 2021 ) :Salvage teams began removing mangled train carriages on Saturday after Taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades killed at least 50 people, as flags flew half-mast across an island plunged into mourning.

Officials said Friday's devastating collision was caused when a parked railway maintenance vehicle slipped down an embankment and onto the tracks.

A train packed with as many as 500 people at the start of a long holiday weekend then hit the truck just as it entered a narrow tunnel near the eastern coastal city of Hualien.

Prosecutors said they are seeking an arrest warrant for the truck driver.

Rescuers described an appalling scene as they rushed into the tunnel and found the front of the train pulverised into a twisted mesh of metal.

"Car number eight had the most serious injuries and number of deaths," rescue worker Chang Zi-chen told reporters on Saturday, referring to the most forward passenger car.

"Basically more than half of the carriage was split open and bodies were all piled up together." Specialist teams spent hours extracting victims and survivors on Friday, pulling them along the roof of the stricken train to get them into the open.

On Saturday, focus shifted to removing carriages now blocking one half of the sole train line down Taiwan's remote and mountainous eastern coastline.

An AFP reporter at the scene said the most heavily damaged carriages inside the tunnel had yet to be extracted.

Rescuers said they were not sure whether further bodies might still be inside the wreckage.

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