Alishan train crash


#1

from news.bbc.co.uk:

A tourist train has derailed on a mountain track in Taiwan’s central Chiayi b[/b] area , local cable television news stations have reported.

A witness told TVBS that about 15 people were killed and 30 injured after three carriages overturned and plunged into a ravine.

The incident happened near Alishan mountain, a popular tourist destination, at around 1400 (0600 GMT).

The train was carrying about 130 people, many of them families enjoying a weekend trip, when the incident happened.

Some of the passengers are thought to be trapped in the wreckage.

Another cable news station, ETV, has shown footage of carriages lying among trees in the mountainous terrain.

Emergency workers are reported to have already arrived at the scene, and are using a helicopter as part of the rescue effort.


#2

Erm… this just in… the helicopter has crashed. Finger-pointing and responsibility-evasion has already started as I type this. :unamused:


#3

Sorry, not a crash – an emergency landing.


#4

This is yet another example of the media here in Taiwan going out of its way to make the families of the victims feel even worse by totally misrepresenting what is happening as well as the government shooting itself in the foot. First, they report the tragedy and stake out the hospitals for a couple of hours in the hope of interviewing someone whose face is bloody and who is in extreme pain (and who, by the way, did not look at all happy to find three tv camera crews at the foot of his bed. Great tv, that. They don’t even blank out the gore at first. Then, they report a rescue helicopter crashing and more people dying. Then, they say “Oops! Not really crashed and more people dead. Just hit something on the way down and everyone is okay.” My God!!! The media here is totally out to lunch, and is just looking for the fastest and easiest way to get viewers. Then, we hear the President is still going to the big baseball game instead of showing some compassion and at least overseeing the rescue effort in person … oops! Not really. Now he’s going. Oops! Maybe not, still have to make the speech. Oops! Now he’s not sure. All the while the government officials in charge are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. This really reminds me of that river tragedy a while back where the people waited to get rescued in vain while everyone else watched on tv, including the government. Only in Taiwan.


#5

All due respect, but what else should they be doing? Maybe they should wait until tomorrow before filing any stories, just to make sure there are no mistakes. This is breaking news being reported as it happens. Of course there are going to be conflicting accounts.
The camera crews shouldn’t be allowed to get into the way of the rescuers (as I’m watching right now) or into the hospitals, of course. That part, at least, is “only in Taiwan” I suppose. I think those people should be arrested and charged with obstruction, or endangering safety, or something.


#6

Sandman, you’re right about them having to report the news … but at least some quality control! Just make sure of the facts before reporting them. Yes, the early bird gets the worm, but hopefully that bird doesn’t have egg on its face when the story changes and you look like a fool because you didn’t check on what you were reporting. I do agree with the idea of arresting the camera crews, thoguh, if they are interfering with the hospital staff doing their jobs … then again, it may also be possible that the reporters slipped the hospital staff a little hong bao for the privilege of getting some good pics. Hmm. By the way, now they say that the helicopter did crash and some more people did die. Who knows what they will say in another hour … sigh


#7

watch minshi (ftv), it’s not half bad . just got a quite factual account on there.


#8

How did the accident happen?

Was the train going up the mountain or down?

Too fast?

Or too crowded, excess crowded, too many passeners, weight-wise?

Was engine pulling or pushing the carriages?

How many carriages were there on that train?

Was this the train that goes from Alisan up the sunrise area?

Or was it the train that goes from Chiayi City to Allishan?

I heard one 3 year old girl or boy is dead.

One American is dead.

Can anyone answer these questions? THANKS.

Sad day, business as usual. I think reporters are doing their best, I think govt officials at the scene are doing their best… BUT really, seeing pictures on TV of Chen and Mayor Ma at the ballgame in Tienmou was terrible. Chen esp should have rushed down to CHiayi to oversee the operations. This is a national tragedy of international proportions, tourism-wise.

My friends in Taiwan have always told me the Alishan railywas a major tragic accident waiting to happen. I guess the day after 228 was the day to have it happen.


#9

I do not know which channel you watched, but we watched a few right at the moment it was reported on TV and all were the same our President decided not going to the baseball game but to come to the scene to supervise, oversee everthing.

[quote=“sandman”]All due respect, but what else should they be doing? Maybe they should wait until tomorrow before filing any stories, just to make sure there are no mistakes. This is breaking news being reported as it happens. Of course there are going to be conflicting accounts.
The camera crews shouldn’t be allowed to get into the way of the rescuers (as I’m watching right now) or into the hospitals, of course. That part, at least, is “only in Taiwan” I suppose. I think those people should be arrested and charged with obstruction, or endangering safety, or something.[/quote]
They even reported a forest fire happened caused by the helicopter crashed, so unbelievable while I heard it. We need the legistors to make laws against those people adding trouble to the rescuers and patients.


#10

This event gives some points back to the airline industry.


#11

Trying to read all the news reports and come up with a conclusion. Looks like:

  1. the train was going downhill from Alisan main station to the next station called Shengmu Station, (Sacred Tree: so much for god’s protection)…

  2. Apparently the braking system failed, so that as the 4-carriage train went around a curve after crossing a small narrow bridge, the first car went off the tracks due to high speed (jumped the tracks) and hit solid rock, causing…

  3. the second, third and fourth carriages to derail, with the…

  4. 4th carriage falling completely off the bridge into the ravine 6 meters below

  5. the engine never left the tracks

  6. the engine was behind the 4 cars, pushing them downhill, with a faulty braking system apparently

  7. Because it was a holiday weekend, 228 and all that, the train was just going between Alisan station and Shengmu station, to drop passengers off for some forest strolling, and was not headed all the way back to Chiayi City, but that is not clear. Maybe this was the afternoon train back to Chiayi. Or was it just a short commuter hop one station over?

  8. Were the engine drivers asleep at the wheel (like that bloke in Japan the other day on the bullet train?) or had they been in any way partaking of the grape (like those airplane pilots arrested in the USA for drinking on the job) and was there any other way to stop the train or slow it down once they realized the brake system was not working properlu.

  9. apparently, the train was NOT overcrowded, normal capacity passengers

  10. why do the newspapers here always print how much money the victims’ families will receive in cash rewards (?) like winning the lotto! … after these things? Is that what people are really thinking: jeez, my kid died but how much money can i get? Shouldn’t this issue of compensatiom and insurance be handled more delicately and at a later date and NOT on the first day of reporting? Gimme a break! Is death just a matter of money here?

  11. I saw on TV today that Chen Prez and other VIP offs went to Chiayi to see people at the local hospitals.

  12. Best coverage so far has been in the Taiwan News. The Taipei Times was spotty and the Post was similarly spotty. TN did a good job, for once!


#12

Su Yin-fu, conductor of the ill-fated train, was arrested on
charges of involuntary manslaughter, but he was released on a bail of
NT$100,000 after questioning.

says the CNA news report today

BUT ONE REPORTER SAYS THE ENGINE HIT THE MOUNTAIN FIRST< ANOTHER SAYS THE FIRST CARRIAGE HIT THE MOUNTAIN FIRST

WHICH WAS IT?

“The four-carriage train derailed at around 2:09 p.m. when it was
crossing a small bridge. The locomotive hit the mountain, with the
second carriage and the third carriage hanging in mid-air and the
fourth one falling into a chasm about six meters deep.” --CNA