Oct. 21 (UPI) — A tourist train in Taiwan derailed Sunday, killing at least 18 passengers and injuring at least 168 others.
The Puyuma express train with 366 passengers on board derailed in Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday afternoon as it was traveling from New Taipei to Taitung.
Most of the victims died on the train while some others died as a result of their injuries after the injured victims were taken to four nearby hospitals for treatment, director of the TRA Lu Chieh-sheng said.
The TRA initially said the death toll was as high as 22, but later confirmed the four other deaths were the result of double calculation at hospitals.
The crash was the deadliest of its kind since 30 people were killed and 130 injured when a train derailed and plunged into a river near the city of Hsinchu in 1981.
An American woman was reportedly among those injured, as the train service is popular with tourists. There weren’t immediately any other reports of foreign nationals being killed or injured in the crash.
The Taiwan Railway Administration said all of the train’s eight carriages derailed from the track while five were left overturned.
Lu said the cause of the crash was under investigation, as the driver of the train told local media he felt something on the track as the train was going around a bend.
A passenger on the train said she heard strange sounds and saw unusual signs on the information screen system and that the driver had applied the emergency brakes multiple times before the crash.
The Yilan County government said search and rescue operations at the site of the crash would continue through the night until all passengers are found.
“We are still trying to clear the site and check if more passengers are stuck inside the train,” Lu said.