At least 17 dead and 101 injured as train overturns in Taiwan

The train went off the tracks between the Dongshan and Suxin stations at about 5pm on Oct 21 2018

At least 17 dead, 120+ injured in catastrophic train derailment in Taiwan (DISTURBING PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The accident took place in Yilan northeastern Taiwan, when several train carriages overturned on a coastal railway.

Ten people were killed and 73 injured on July 8 when a train packed with weekend passengers derailed in northwest Turkey, sate-run TRT Haber television said, quoting the health ministry.

The official Central News Agency said the incident was the island's deadliest rail tragedy since 30 people were killed in a 1981 collision in northern Taiwan.

The Puyuma express train, headed for Taitung (台東), had a total of 366 passengers onboard when it came off the tracks close to the Xinma Station in Su'ao (蘇澳鎭) at 4:50 p.m. on October 21, according to Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA).

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Reports say one of the dead is an American citizen.

One lucky passenger, identified only by his surname Khoo, said he heard a loud crash before the vehicle he was travelling in overturned.

The injured have been sent to numerous hospitals in the area for treatment.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier William Lai told relevant authorities to do all they can to assist the rescue effort and the people involved.

Mr Khoo, who was on his way home after attending a gathering of ex-classmates in Yilan, said that he suspected the poor design of the platform at the Xinma Station had contributed to the accident.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

At a press conference late on Sunday, Taiwan Railways Administration chief Lu Chieh-shen said the cause of the derailment was as yet unknown and would be investigated.

The Puyuma express train was carrying more than 300 passengers toward Taitung, a city on Taiwan's southeast coast, when it went off the tracks on Sunday afternoon.

The authority was also checking to see if any foreigners were on board.

The Puyuma class train is a tilt train that has been operating in Taiwan for six years, and travels at a maximum speed of 130 kilometers per hour.

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