Taipei, Taiwan (AP) —A passenger train crashed into a railroad track on Friday, partially derailing outside a railroad tunnel along the east coast of Taiwan, killing 34 people and injuring dozens. The police said. Survivors climbed the roof through the windows to ensure safety.
Hualien County officials said rescue operations were ongoing.
The crash occurred near the Taroko Gorge scenic spot around 9 am on a public holiday.
The media reported that 350 passengers were on board.
According to reports, a truck fell off an upper cliff and landed on a railroad track, and a train coming out of a tunnel collided. With many of the trains still trapped in tunnels, fleeing passengers were forced to scale doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.
According to the rescue department in Hualien County, trucks seemed to collide after the appearance of the locomotive, causing the greatest damage to cars 1-5.
Television footage and photos posted by people on-site on the Central News Agency’s official website showed people climbing the open doors of a railroad car just outside the entrance to the tunnel. The interior of one car was completely pushed into the next seat.
The accident happened on the first day of the four-day Qingming Festival.
Taiwan’s last major railroad accident occurred in October 2018 when an express train derailed around a narrow corner of the northeast coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring nearly 200.
In 1991, a collision in western Taiwan killed 30 people and injured 112 in the worst train wreck.