TAIPEI, TAIWAN — The derailment of the Taroko Express caused 50 deaths, setting the highest number of casualties in the half-century since the establishment of Taiwan Railways Administration. All government agencies fly their flags at half-mast for three days of mourning starting April 3rd. President Tsai Ing-wen rushed to visit the injured and the families of the victims at hospitals and funeral homes in Hualien.
President Tsai Ing-Wen:
I want to express my condolences to the victims. We will continue to offer support for funeral rites. At present, the hospitals are doing their best to treat the wounded We will provide the best care for them.
On the night of April 2nd, Chinese Christian Relief Association, Hualien Joint Prayer Conference, and Taiwan Presbyterian Church in Hualien immediately worked with Hualien County Government to set up relief stations in the funeral homes. In addition to providing resting areas for the victims’ families, they also accompanied them to identify bodies and arranged follow-up accommodation matters.
Pastor Tsai Chih-Chien, Chair of Hualian Joint Pastors Conference:
This accident happened, just on the Holy Week, on the eve of Easter. Our faith teaches us to weep with those who mourn. We are all very sad and sorry for what appened in this accident, but we also witness that the churches in Hualien and the Chinese Christian Relief Association are all connected together to face this tragedy with the families of the victims and to walk with them in this saddest moment.
On the evening of April 3rd, at the “Love in April” concert, eight pastors from the Hualien Joint Prayer Conference along with the artists of Arise and Shine Artists Association led by Pastor Song Yi-min sang Christian songs and prayed as the county officials and people in Hualien were in silent prayer.
Dear friends, we are deeply sorry that a very serious train accident occurred in Hualien yesterday. At the beginning of our gathering tonight, we join together in silence for remembrance. Let us bow our heads and close our eyes.
Pastor Song Yimin, Chairman of the Arise and Shine Artists Association:
Through “Love in April”, we came to Hualien and hope to bring peace to this land, and to comfort sorrowful hearts, so we can forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead.
Taiwan Christian Alliance and all churches called for prayers for this accident on Easter Sunday, and hoped that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His salvation and grace will sustain the people in Hualien and the victim’s families in these moments of sadness.
- Global News Alliance, All Hualien Churches Join Hands to Pray for the Accident of Taroko Express
- GOOD TV, Official Website