[Constant Updates expected]
An express train derailed at high speed in Ilan County this evening killing at least 17 and injuring more than 100 people .
At 4:50pm, the Puyuma express No.6432 derailed between Dongshan and Suxin in Suao District on the east coast line. The train was carrying 310 passengers from Shulin Station in New Taipei City to Taitung City.
Taiwan Rail Administration set up a level 1 disaster response command center at around 5:00pm, and the Ministry of Defense has mobilized troops, equipment, and ambulances to the site of the disaster.
At 9:35pm, United Daily News reported 18 dead and 168 injured, as rescuers continue to go through the wreckage and search for casualties in the surrounding area.
The National Health Insurance Administration implemented code C001, telling local hospitals that the NHA will cover the medical expenses of uninsured foreigners if any have been involved in the disaster.
At 9:35pm United Daily News reported that one injured person was a 43 year-old American woman who was sent to St Mary’s Hospital in Luodong.
The Puyuma class train is a tilt train that has been operating in Taiwan for six years, and travels at a maximum speed of 130 kilometers per hour.
All eight cars of the train derailed, and 5 overturned. While the cause of the derailment is still under investigation, United Daily News reported that the Fire Bureau said the driver of the train told them that an unidentified object was involved.
The accident is the worst Taiwan Rail Administration has experienced in 37 years. In March 1981, an express train derailed at the approach to a bridge near Zhubei Station, killing 30 and injuring 130.
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