An express train crash in Taiwan killed at least 48 passengers aboard a 500 passenger train on Friday morning. The train derailed in a tunnel and is being called the worst rail disaster in Taiwan in almost four decades.
“People just fell all over each other,” said a woman who was at the scene. “It was terrifying. There were whole families there.”
The crash, which was in the eastern city of Hualien, killed the driver of the train and many tourists and locals heading home to start the long weekend for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday. Images from the scene show carriages ripped apart and people evacuating from the site. Passengers had to be carried to safety by railway administration and the fire department.
The Central News Agency, the official domestic broadcast, said that a truck likely slid off the road and into the path of the train. Since the handbrake had not been engaged, the accident could have been prevented, but the local police are investigating.
Although Taiwan’s state-owned railways have had issues with safety in recent years, they have still been reliable and trusted. There has not been any official statement from Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen.