translated from Spanish: At least 48 killed when three derailed in Taiwan

Taiwan.- They add up to 48 people killed and 66 injured have been taken to hospital, Taiwan National Fire Agency said, according to reports from authorities, reported that a maintenance vehicle could have caused the accident by sliding down an embankment and hitting the train just before it entered the tunnel near the coastal city of Hualien.
There was a construction vehicle that was not parked properly and slid onto the railway, Hualien County Police Chief Tsai Ding-hsien told reporters.

Read more: Video. Train derails in Taiwan, dead and several wounded
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“It’s our first conclusion and we’re trying to clear up the cause of the accident,” the officer in the area added.
Photos of local media taken at the site show the back of a yellow platform truck dumped near the train. President Tsai Ing-wen ordered hospitals to prepare to receive many victims, according to her office.” The absolute priority now is to help trapped people,” his office said in a statement. The accident occurred around 09H30 (01H30 GMT) on Taiwan’s eastern line.Images published by local media show that the front of the train inside the tunnel had been devastated. The Taiwan Red Cross also disseminated images of lifeguards with helmets and lanterns walking along the roof of the sinister train inside the tunnel to reach the survivors.
Passengers at the back of the convoy were able to emerge comparatively unscathed from the accident. “I felt like there had been a violent, sudden jolt and I fell to the ground,” one woman told the television network. “We broke the window to get on the roof of the train and get out.” The deadly accident coincides with the beginning of the annual grave cleaning holiday, a long holiday weekend that fills the country’s roads and railways. During this period, the inhabitants usually return to their hometowns to cleanse the graves of their relatives and make offerings. The railway line in eastern Taiwan is usually a tourist attraction because it runs along its splendid and less populated east coast. Through multiple tunnels and bridges it meanders the mountains and spectacular gorges before descending through the Huadong Valley. Friday’s accident is one of the worst known rail disasters in Taiwan. Read more: Biden proposes investment of 100 mmdd to combat racism in the USThe last major derailment dates back to 2018, when 18 people died at the southern end of the same line. The driver of that eight-car train was then charged with malpractice. More than 200 of the 366 passengers were injured. This accident was the worst since 1991, when 30 passengers were killed and 112 injured by the collision of two trains in Miaoli. The Apple Daily said the worst accident on the island was in 1948 and left 64 dead.

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Original source in Spanish

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