At least 22 people have been killed and 171 others injured after an express train which was traveling between the cities of Shulin and Taitung derailed in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan, Saturday.
A 43-year-old American woman was among those injured. The injured were being treated at four hospitals.The train was carrying 366 passengers when the accident occurred. Five of the eight derrailed carriages overturned at 90 degrees. Photos from the scene just south of the city of Luodong showed the train's eight cars in a zig-zag formation near the tracks. The cause of the derailment is under investigation. The conductor said an unidentified object had been on the tracks. This is the island's worst rail accident for more than 20 years.
Some passengers were asleep at the time of the accident. „They were crushed, so they died right away," Ministry of National Defense spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Hundreds of rescuers worked through the wreckage with spotlights on Sunday night in search of survivors. About 120 soldiers were called to the site to help remove bodies so that they could be identified. Most of the deaths were in the first car. As many as 30 people were trapped in the wreckage. President Tsai Ing-wen described the accident as a "major tragedy." Taiwanese passenger trains have derailed previously, though it’s rare for such incidents to cause serious injury or death.