Terrifying video : Taiwan train crash caught on CCTV
AT least 22 people have been killed and 171 others injured after a high-speed train came off the tracks in Taiwan today.
Photographs from the scene show crashed carriages lying sideways off the tracks close to Xinma station.
The derailment reportedly happened around 4.50pm local time (08.50 GMT).
Train authorities say at least 160 people have been injured, and Taiwan’s Central News Agency report 30 others may still be trapped.
The train, reportedly a high-speed Puyuma Express 6432 service, is said to have been travelling between Taipei and the eastern coastal county of Taitung with 366 passengers on board.
It is believed to have come off the tracks close to Xinma station, close to the town of Su’ao about 70km (43 miles) from Taipei.
Local TV footage showed rescuers and military workers searching through the wreckage for survivors, with ambulances waiting nearby.
At 7.45pm local time, the death toll was 18 and a further 160 injured, the fire department said in a statement.
President Tsai Ing-wen posted on Facebook: “We will use all our strength and efforts for the rescue.”
An investigation was underway to find out the cause of the accident, Taiwan Railways Administration said.
Deputy Chief Lu Chieh-Shen told a news conference: “The train was in pretty good condition.”
The authority was also checking to see if any foreigners were on board the service, which is popular among tourists.
A total of 366 people were travelling on the train at the time of the crash.
The cause of the crash is not yet known but people who witnessed it claim to have heard a loud noise and then smoke.
Lu Chieh-shen, deputy chief of Taiwan Railways administration, told a news conference that the train was in “pretty good condition” and was only six years old.
In addition to paramedics and firefighters, around 120 soldiers have been sent to help those trapped or injured.
People caught up in the horror crash say they had to break windows to flee the carriages.
Dozens of people have been taken to nearby hospitals.