TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A man was hit by a passing train after falling onto the tracks at TRA Wanhua Station on Sunday morning, becoming the latest casualty in a string of train accidents in Taiwan since the turn of the year.
Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said a train bound for Shulin Station hit the man, who is about 70 years old, at around 9:43 a.m. After the accident, the man was rushed to the hospital, the TRA said, adding that the accident caused a 38-minutes delay and affected about 750 passengers. The man’s condition is unknown at this time.
According to TRA statistics, Sunday's accident was the 13th railway accident of the year. Ten people have died and three injured in the train accidents so far this year, the TRA said.
According to the railways authority, of the 13 train accidents this year, three cases involved people illegally passing level crossings, and the rest involved people who deliberately entered live train tracks, with some standing on tracks, some lying face down on tacks, and some jumping off platforms.
A total of 313 train accidents happened in the past five years, causing 236 deaths and 168 injuries, according to media reports.
Running level crossings have caused fewer casualties than other incidents such as walking across tracks, lying on tracks and jumping off platforms, reports said. For example, last year running level crossings resulted in nine accidents, which caused seven deaths and three injuries, but the number of other types of railway accidents was as many as 36 and caused 30 deaths and 31 injuries.
To reduce railway accidents, the TRA said it has been stepping up efforts to replace level crossings with elevated tracks in recent years and has eliminated 46 crossings since June 2013. The railways authority also said it will build a total of 175 kilometers of wired fences by 2018, with 100 kilometers scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.