More than 18 people have been killed and 178 injured in a train derailment in northeastern Taiwan.
A total of 366 people were on the train traveling from Taipei to Taitung when all eight carriages derailed. The accident occurred at 16:50 local time on Sunday.
This is the worst rail accident in Taiwan’s 27-year history. At least children were among the dead.
The authorities said the cause of the derailment is under investigation. They also added that they have freed every passenger from the wreckage.
It is not clear what causes the train to derail. The deputy chief of the Taiwan Railways told that the train was only six years old and had been in pretty good condition.
The Puyuma Express 6432 came off the track near the town of sugar about 43 miles from Taipei.
Firefighters and medical teams are helping the injured, the defense ministry sent 120 soldiers to boost the operation and to clear the area.
Video footage on local TV channel showed passengers breaking the glass to escape the carriage.
A passenger told to media that he smashed the glass and crawled out, helped the young man out.
Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s leader, arrived on Monday morning. She said that she had prosecutors to clarify the situation, and quickly investigate what caused the derailment.
She also met relatives of passengers affected by the disaster.
“We are really sorry… you have to stay strong,” Ms. Tsai told the mother of a seventh-grade girl who was killed in the crash.
Taiwan is one of those countries which has an extensive train network. More than half a million passengers travel on train in Taiwan every day.