Taiwan mourns after deadliest train crash in decades

St Lucia extends condolences to Taiwan after train crash

Taiwan's last major rail crash occurred back in October 2018, per the AP, when an express train derailed while going around a tight corner.

The train hit a truck as it entered the tunnel, causing two carriages to go off the rails.

In the island's worst rail accident in seven decades, 50 people have been confirmed dead after a packed express train carrying nearly 500 passengers and crew slammed into a truck near the eastern city of Hualien on Friday, causing it to derail and the front part to crumple.

Taiwan's worst train crash, in 1948, killed an estimated 64 people. The driver of the eight-car train was charged with negligent murder.

Prosecutors had applied to a court to detain the manager on charges of causing death by negligence, a justice ministry official told reporters on Saturday.

The Hualien district court allowed the truck owner to post bail of 500,000 new Taiwan dollars but he must stay in the county and avoid contact with any witnesses, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

The court said that while the truck's fall into the path of the train possibly resulted from negligence, there was "no possibility of conspiracy".

Yu Hsiu-duan, head of the Hualien prosecutors' office, said they were not pleased with the decision.

His lawyer told reporters that Lee wanted to face up to what had happened and was apologetic and expressed regret.

Many family members of the victims visited the accident site and called out the names of their loved ones.

The youngest person confirmed to have died was a 6-year-old girl, the oldest a 79-year-old man, according to a government-issued casualty list.

Meanwhile, recovery teams have begun removing the rear carriages of the train which were relatively unscathed.

A rescue worker guides others as they remove a part of the derailed train.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen offers joss sticks at a memorial for victims of Friday's train derailment in Hualien, eastern Taiwan.

Flags across the island are being be flown at half mast for three days.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai told a news conference on Saturday that the lack of a safety fence around the construction site, as required by the contract, was a huge management mistake.

Media published on the site showed a yellow flatbed truck on its side, near the train. In early April, many Taiwanese people return to their hometowns to pay tribute to their ancestors and clean up family tombs.The train driver and his assistant were both killed.

Taiwan has no domestic travel curbs as the COVID-19 pandemic is well under control, with only 43 active cases in hospitals.