Single-track service resumed after 18 killed, 187 injured in NE Taiwan train derailment

Two-way, single-track service resumed after 18 killed, 187 injured in yesterday's train derailment in Taiwan's Yilan County


(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After suffering a deadly derailment yesterday, the Puyuma express train has resumed partial, two-way service on the single remaining track early this morning.

The Puyuma express train No. 6432 , 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 Oct. 21, according to Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA). All eight of the carriages on the train came off the tracks, with five completely overturning, causing 18 dead and 187 injured.

The TRA dispatched a first-level emergency response team to Yilan and Hualien at 5 p.m. yesterday. After undergoing emergency repairs, two-way service was resumed on the single remaining track at 5:12 a.m. this morning, with the No. 4102 train passing the scene of the accident at 5:54 a.m.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday arrived Central Disaster Response Center at 10:30 p.m., surveyed the scene of the accident at 11 p.m., and met with some of the injured in the hospital at 12:15 a.m. this morning. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived at the scene of the accident at 6:50 a.m. this morning to assess the situation, before going to the hospital to visit with the injured and offer condolences to family members of those who perished.

Tsai at scene of the derailment. (CNA image)

The TRA said that it transferred the uninjured passengers by way of shuttle bus to Dong'ao Railway Station and Luodong Station. From there, they transferred to trains which took them to Hualien, Taipei. A total of 11,000 passengers had to be transferred by via 278 shuttle bus trips until rail services were resumed.

In terms of compensation and refunds, the TRA said the following:

1. At present, the TRA is offering NT$100,000 for each passenger who lost their life, which injured passengers will receive NT$5,000 in compensation. Follow-up on medical and death claims for the injuries shall be handled in accordance with the relevant compensation provisions, and liaisons will be assigned for query processing and follow up claims.

2. For tickets for trains that are delayed by more than 45 minutes, passengers can apply for a full refund within one year or take one train of the same class in the same section free of charge.