Five dead, 84 injured in Taiwan train accident

Five dead, 84 injured in Taiwan train accident
# 28 April 2011 01:35 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. At least five people were killed and 84 injured Wednesday when a falling tree struck a train carrying Chinese tourists on a popular but dangerous mountain route in central Taiwan, officials said, APA reports quoting AFP.
The train was travelling through a forested area on the slopes of Mount Ali when the tree trunk fell, causing four carriages to derail and overturn, said an official at the forestry bureau, which supervises the area.
The island’s government provided an updated toll late Wednesday, saying that in addition to the five dead, 84 were injured, including 42 who were seriously hurt. It said at least four of the dead and 30 of the injured were Chinese.
Officials from various agencies had reported earlier that six people were killed. No immediate explanation was available for the discrepancy.
"We are saddened by the accident, and the cause is being investigated," President Ma Ying-jeou told reporters.
Taiwanese officials have pledged to help relatives of the Chinese tourists to come to the island.
TV footage showed one of the carriages upside down, as it had apparently dropped several metres (yards) from a small bridge in the densely forested region.
Injured passengers were airlifted by helicopter out of the area, which is otherwise only accessible via winding mountain roads, officials said.
Other injured passengers were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Train services were suspended following the accident, the forestry bureau said.
Several accidents have taken place on the Mount Ali rail route in the past, including one incident in 2003 that killed 17 people.
Taiwan has experienced a boom in Chinese tourists in recent years as restrictions on travel between the two former rivals have been relaxed.
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