Eighteen people died and 175 were injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday, in the island’s worst rail disaster in more than three decades, Reuters reports.
Four carriages overturned in the crash, which occurred in Yilan County near the coast on a line popular among tourists when all eight cars ran off the tracks on a bend near a station, the report said, citing local officials.
Hundreds of rescuers and military personnel worked through the wreckage with spotlights on Sunday night in search of survivors, with ambulances stationed nearby.
Rescue workers, some attending to injured people at the scene, used cranes to lift the battered cars, some of which were lined in a zigzag pattern near the tracks.
It was unclear what caused the crash. As of 9:35 pm local time Sunday, all 366 passengers onboard – including the dead and injured – had been evacuated or removed from the wreckage, the Taiwan Railways Administration was quoted as saying.
The official Central News Agency said the incident was the island’s deadliest rail tragedy since 30 were killed in a 1981 collision in northern Taiwan.
“We will use all our strength and efforts for the rescue,” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on her Facebook page.
An investigation is under way to find out the cause of the crash, Taiwan Railways Administration said.
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