TAIPEI: At least 18 people died and 160 were injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday, authorities said.
Several carriages were overturned in the crash, which occurred in Yilan County near the coast on a line popular among tourists.
The government said the train had been carrying 366 people, and the Central News Agency said more than 30 were still trapped on board.
Footage on local TV showed rescuers and dozens of military personnel working through the wreckage on Sunday night in search of survivors, with ambulances stationed nearby.
The toll at 7:45 pm was 18 dead and 160 injured, the fire department said in a statement.
“We will use all our strength and efforts for the rescue,” President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on her Facebook page.
An investigation was underway to find out the cause of the accident, Taiwan Railways Administration said. “The train was in pretty good condition,” its Deputy Chief Lu Chieh-Shen told a news conference.
The authority was also checking to see if any foreigners were on board.
The derailment came weeks ahead of island-wide local elections that are being seen as a bellwether for Tsai’s ruling party’s performance in presidential elections due in 2020.