Taipei, April 3 (CNA) Two Americans and a French national were among the 51 people confirmed dead in a train accident in Hualien County on Friday, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC).
The two Americans, whose names have not yet been released, were females in their 20s, while the French victim was a 27-year-old man named Charles De Guyenro, said the CEOC, which was activated by the government in the wake of the crash.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) expressed condolences to Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), over the death of the two United States citizens and offered the Taiwan government’s assistance, according to a foreign ministry press release.
The AIT has already contacted the families of the two Americans, the foreign ministry said.
Meanwhile, the foreign ministry said, it had notified the French Office in Taipei a day earlier of De Guyenro’s death.
The accident occurred at 9:28 a.m. Friday, when a southbound Taroko Express train slammed into a crane truck that was on the tracks near the entrance to the Qingshui Tunnel in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that the crane truck, which had been parked on a hill above the track, slid down the incline and fell onto the track because the parking brake was not properly engaged.
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, 51 people had been confirmed dead in the train crash and 186 injured, 41 of whom were still in hospital, according to the CEOC.