Puyuma Express train catches fire in Eastern Taiwan

No injuries reported in Friday night incident at Shoufeng Station, Hualien County

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Smoke in Shoufeng Station, Hualien County, Sept. 6 (Photos shared by public)

Smoke in Shoufeng Station, Hualien County, Sept. 6 (Photos shared by public)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Friday (Sept. 6), a Puyuma Express Train (No. 448) after departing Taitung and heading north, caught fire as it pulled into Shoufeng (壽豐) station in Hualien County around 10:39 p.m.

According to reports, the fire started under car No. 7, and filled the station with smoke. Approximately 400 persons were immediately evacuated from the train and platform.

Firefighters rushed to the platform to put out the fire and fortunately there were no injuries reported. The faulty train will undergo a full inspection and necessary repairs at a train yard in Hualien.

UDN reports that several passengers on the train had noticed an unpleasant mechanical smell on the train before they arrived at Shoufeng. Some smoke reportedly began to enter the car as the train approached the station. Upon arrival, the conductor immediately ordered all passengers to leave the train out of concern for their safety.

The initial judgment on the cause of the fire is that axle bearings overheated, and likely ignited some grease or detritus beneath the train. The Taiwan Railways Administration is reportedly working to install smart temperature detection units in some stations to help ensure safety of passengers and prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future, reports CNA.