Tragic train crash in Hualien on April 2, 2021

Ambulances with police escorts to the morgue in Hualien City. Not enough ambulances. Very sad. Pulled over to let an ambulance by.

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From Apple Daily online just now

"54 deaths… Rescuers are distressed that “all the remains are mutilated”

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Yes it’s a tough time for all involved, families, rescuers, community

President Tsai speaks. Note the CNA graphic embedded in this story:

Seeing the unsecured work site—that is, the spot where the truck slid onto the southbound tracks—labelled as “Railway work site” brought a flood of anger into me. Once again, TRA seems utterly incapable of managing basic safety on its network. I predict they will blame, yet again, the one bad apple, the Mr Lee responsible for this truck. But as these terrible cases continue over the years, I’ve become thoroughly convinced that the variously corrupt, negligent, and even helpless company culture at TRA is the root cause of yet more pain and suffering and loss.



Yea TRA is a very weird organization.

It’s probably very similar to those old KMT type culture where promotions is based on connections and not merit. Lots of ex military officers work there.

7 posts were split to a new topic: From Tragic Train Crash

Two things that come to mind. (1) The bullet train slows down passing track work areas, wonder if they did this here? (2) It seems there were more people than seats as some reports show 450+ people on the train. Its not good be on a fast train standing, maybe something they should only allow on local slow trains.

Yes this happened because of the truck. but it’s also highlights things that can be improved. Look at the bullet train, ZERO deaths here, and 50+ years in Japan.

I heard a french guy was among the dead. Anyone we know?

To me this all looks like an “Accidents Happen” kind of event. You cannot prevent freak accidents like this, they are part of life, few and far between, but you have to be prepared for them. Sure, you could blame the truck driver or the lack of barriers or the train speed, the number of people on the train, etc. etc. Bottom line is, you simply cannot fix everything that can cause an accident like this. You can do improvements here and there, but these accidents will always happen. That’s the risk you take whenever you step out of your house or into a vehicle. We cannot stay home, we have to move around, humans make errors, people die.

I think the tricky thing is the mindset of people and how they are able or unable to recognize dangerous situations. That’s something you cannot change with regulations or safety measures, that’s about education and culture. People in more advanced countries might have a slightly different mindset and are more aware of possible dangerous behavior. In Taiwan, I feel some people lack this awareness. For example bus drivers not keeping a safe distance to vehicles in front on a freeway.


Numbers of people standing, especially on a speeding train is a fairly obvious high risk situation .


Agree that China Airlines has improved its game. But I can’t see how the attitude of TRA is any different to the prevailing attitude towards safety across most of the island.

I was in town (Hualien) this afternoon, and a few ambulances passed me. Then came a woman on a scooter, at speed, transporting some 8m long sections of construction material. Loosely fastened together, flexing in the wind. All perfectly safe … until it’s not.

There’s just no general concept of basic safety here. As said above “the mindset of people and how they are able or unable to recognize dangerous situations”.

I remember reading Into Thin Air, and Krakauer’s description of a Taiwanese climbing team that lacked any sense of basic safety. Didn’t some guy climb out of his tent in a pair of slippers to attend to a call of nature, and promptly slipped down into a crevasse?


Yep. See it all the time.

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To be fair, no one keeps a safe distance on the freeways/expressways. You just get used to it.


Until recently I thought Puyama and Taroko trains allowed only reserved seats, but one went on recently, at the station got a ticket with no seat, so they need better follow the rules and not allow standing people. Charge a bit more if they need the cash, train is 100% full, so they can charge more to cover proper expenditure if need.
Also enforce correct payments, people standing on the fast trains should need pay the full fare and not local fare via icash (KHH Subway) cards.

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They are just starting to realize the number of people who bought standing room tickets. Imagine being thrown about at what 150/180 km/h…

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There’s probably many more who swiped card and got on.

I’ve seen reports now of 490 on board the train. They may start to use camera or number of people who swiped on and not off to get more officially counts?

For those interested

Ministry of Education confirms 3 young students from a school trip died in this accident. Many hurt.

I feel that some people if they were standing won’t be identified for days. The real count could be unthinkable.

The more I read the more I feel terrible.

At first it was just unfortunate, then a tragedy, but now it’s an unimaginable. A series of preventable events lead to a staggering staggering tragedy.

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Head count of people on the train seems to be reported as 496, of which 492 were travellers.

Several foreign tourists hurt and yes, there seems to be a French family that will receive bad news…


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