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Last car from wrecked Taiwan train removed from tunnel

8th car most seriously damaged as it was first to impact crane truck at over 120 kph

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(MOTC photo)

(MOTC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The eighth and final car from the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train that suffered a derailment after colliding with a construction vehicle was finally extricated from a tunnel Tuesday evening (April 6).

At 9:28 a.m. on Friday (April 2), the Taroko Express No. 408, going from New Taipei's Shulin to Taitung, suddenly derailed as it passed through the Qingshui Tunnel in Hualien County, killing 50 and injuring 211. A preliminary investigation has found that the accident occurred after a construction crane truck had rolled onto the tracks a little over a minute before the train ran into it at 126 kilometers per hour.

Last car from wrecked Taiwan train removed from tunnel
(Facebook, Lin Chia-lung photo)

As the lead carriage, the eighth car was the first to strike the vehicle, killing 27, including the train's engineer and his assistant. Such was the force of the impact that the carriage was ripped open, and parts of it were shattered into pieces.

After days of removing the other carriages and debris, crews were finally able to extract the eighth car from the tunnel at 10:52 p.m. Tuesday night, reported Liberty Times. When the remains of the carriage emerged, it was clear it had borne the brunt of the impact, which sheered a large section off the front.

Last car from wrecked Taiwan train removed from tunnel
(Facebook, Lin Chia-lung photo)

Early Wednesday morning (April 7), Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) wrote on Facebook that, "After rescuers and engineering teams devoted all of their efforts day and night and in shifts, the eighth carriage, which was the most heavily damaged in the accident, was finally removed."

He said the next steps will be to lay new rails and ties, rebuild power facilities, and restore signs. This will be followed by necessary reinforcements made in conjunction with the safety inspection report on the tunnel structure to ensure safety, Lin added.

Last car from wrecked Taiwan train removed from tunnel
(MOTC photo)

The remains of the car were towed away from the scene on Wednesday morning (April 7). The TRA plans to have CECI Engineering Consultants Inc., and the Taiwan Professional Civil Engineers Association carry out a safety inspection of the tunnel's structure.

It is estimated that the inspection report will be completed by April 20, by which time specific recommendations will be made to ensure that the tunnel structure is safe to be reopened.

Last car from wrecked Taiwan train removed from tunnel
(MOTC photo)


Updated : 2021-04-10 20:48 GMT+08:00