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36 people confirmed dead and many injured as train carrying 350 people derails in Taiwan (photos)

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At least 36 people have been confirmed dead and many injured after 408 Taroko Express train carrying 350 people derails in Taiwan

A passenger train carrying an estimated 350 people has derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan, killing at least 36 and injuring dozens more.

The 408 Taroko Express came off the rails in a tunnel in the north of Hualien on Friday morning, April 2, causing several carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel, the government-run Central News Agency reported, citing the fire department.

The express train was travelling south towards Taitung on the first day of a long weekend for the traditional Tomb Sweeping holiday, which sees extensive travel across the island.

The train driver and 35 passengers were killed, according to Taiwan’s Premier, Su Tseng-chang. 81 people have been injured, some in severe condition, while eight people are still stuck in carriages that were badly damaged in the accident.

CNA said a truck that was “not parked properly” was suspected of sliding into the path of the train. 

The fire department showed a picture of what appeared to be the truck’s wreckage lying next to part of the derailed train.

“In response to a train derailment in Hualien, Taiwan, our emergency services have been fully mobilized to rescue & assist the passengers & railway staff affected,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Twitter.

 “We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.”

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