TAIPEI, Taiwan, (Xinhua) — The death toll from the Taiwan train derailment has risen to 50, with 146 people rushed to hospital and no one still trapped at the crash site, according to local authorities.
The train with a capacity of 374 passengers was almost full when the derailment happened inside a tunnel in east Taiwan on Friday morning, said an employee with a local train operator.
The apparent accident occurred at the start of the four-day Tomb-sweeping Day holiday.
The second and third carriages of the train traveling to Taitung derailed in the accident while the third to eighth carriages that remained in the tunnel were partially deformed, according to rescuers.
The local police suspect that a wrongly parked construction vehicle fell from above the tunnel and hit the passing train, causing the accident.
The responsible person from the owner company of the vehicle is being interrogated.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, expressed condolences over the tragedy. “The mainland is deeply concerned about the rescue progress.”
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits has also sent its condolences to the families of the deceased and expressed sympathies to the injured.
Meanwhile, the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots issued a letter of sympathy, wishing the deceased persons to rest in peace and those who are injured, to quickly recover.