TAIPEI, TAIWAN — On the morning of April 2nd, the No. 408 Taroko Express collided with a construction vehicle that slid onto the tracks as it was entering a tunnel in Hualien County. The train carried 496 passengers. 50 people were confirmed dead, including 4 TRA staff members. The whole country mourns for this incident. President Tsai Ing-wen also visited the crash site, offering support and condolences to the victims and their family members at hospitals and funeral homes.
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.
Moments after the accident, Chinese Christian Relief Association together with Hualien Joint Prayer Conference set up “1919 Relief Stations” overnight at funeral homes, and arranged volunteers to provide 24-hour support which includes inquiries, emotional comfort and consolation prayers.
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 happened 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.
In a musical event on April 3rd , the churches in Hualien along with artists from Arise and Shine Artists Association observed a moment of silence for the deceased in their opening performance. Pastors and leaders also prayed in unison for county officials. The theme song of the music festival, “Loving You Only”, also had its lyrics changed at the last minute to show solidarity with the people of Hualien.
May the LORD heal survivors who are still receiving treatment and their family members. May He bring comfort to family members who suffered, wipe away their tears, and help them move on from this pain in His grace. We declare Taitung will receive healing. Taitung will have peace.
As the 408 train is offered first to residents of Hualien and Taitung counties for Qingming Festival, more than half of the passengers are residents of Taitung. Therefore, churches in Taitung also observed a moment of silence in a joint Easter Service, and prayed for the Lord to heal the hearts of the victims’ family members.
In a joint Easter Service attended by thousands in Hsinchu, the congregation prayed for the Lord’s compassion on the victims, their family members and the relief workers. Many churches across Taiwan also prayed for the victims on their Easter services, hoping that with Jesus’ resurrection, God’s saving grace will help the people of Hualien and Taitung to overcome this heartbreaking moment.
- Global News Alliance, On Easter Sunday Taiwan Churches Pray In Unity Over Train Tragedy
- GOOD TV, Official Website