Survivors of Taiwan‘s worst rail crash in decades have recounted their desperate efforts to find loved ones in the twisted wreckage of the train at what should have been the start of a holiday weekend.
Friday’s crash, which killed at least 50 people and injured more than 170, was caused by a collision with a vehicle that slipped onto the tracks just as the train went into a narrow tunnel near the eastern coastal city of Hualien. Many passengers were heading to their home towns to tidy the graves of their ancestors at the start of the annual four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival.
Instead, fresh graves are now being prepared for their loved ones. Speaking from a wheelchair in hospital, a woman surnamed Yang told Era TV she and her husband were standing in the area connecting two carriages when the train derailed.
“I didn’t come to the hospital right away because my husband died at the scene,” she said. She recalled being thrust forward by the force of the crash and said she believed her husband cushioned the impact for her.
“I felt dazed at the time,” she said. “I grabbed hold of him but he passed away. Others gave harrowing testimony of making their way out of the train, half of which was lodged inside the narrow tunnel.
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