Taiwan mourns after deadliest train disaster in decades
Salvage teams began removing mangled train carriages on Saturday after Taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades killed at least 50 people, as flags flew half-mast across an island plunged into mourning.
Officials said Friday's devastating collision was caused when a parked railway maintenance vehicle slipped down an embankment and onto the tracks.
A train packed with as many as 500 people at the start of a long holiday weekend then hit the truck just as it entered a narrow tunnel near the eastern coastal city of Hualien.
Prosecutors said they are seeking an arrest warrant for the truck driver.
Pictures released by rescuers showed the front of the train had been pulverised into a twisted mesh of metal inside the tunnel.
Specialist teams spent hours extracting bodies and survivors, pulling them along the roof of the stricken train to get them into the open.
On Saturday, the rescue operation began removing carriages now blocking one half of the sole train line down Taiwan's remote and mountainous eastern coastline.
An AFP reporter at the scene said the most heavily damaged carriages inside the tunnel had yet to be extracted.
The Interior Ministry ordered all flags to be lowered to half-mast for three days while President Tsai Ing-wen was expected to visit the wounded in Hualien's hospitals later in the day.
- 'Really devastating' -
Friday morning's crash took place at the start of the Tomb Sweeping Festival, a four-day public holiday when many Taiwanese return to villages to tidy the graves of their ancestors.
More than 140 people were rushed to hospital. A French national was among the dead.