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Dozens Killed, Many Trapped After Taiwan Train Derails In Tunnel

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Dozens Killed, Many Trapped After Taiwan Train Derails In Tunnel

At least 41 persons have died and up to 200 remain trapped on Friday morning after a train carrying 490 persons crashed and then derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan.

According to the country’s transport ministry more than 70 others are also believed to be trapped in the wreckage with rescuers trying to access several badly damaged carriages.

The transport ministry also said some 40 injured passengers had already been sent to hospital with others in the process of being admitted.

The eight-carriage train from the capital Taipei to Taitung which was carrying people travelling for a long-weekend annual holiday reportedly hit a construction vehicle that had slipped onto the tracks at the tunnel’s mouth.

The Central Emergency Operation Center said rescuers were trying to get to four carriages inside the tunnel that were badly damaged and difficult to access.

The latest reports from the National Fire Agency say nearly 500 passengers were on the train, with 41 dead and more than 60 injured.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen issued a statement saying “rescuing those trapped is our highest priority now”.

According to local media reports many people may have been standing because the train was so full and also reported the train driver is among the dead in the crash which took place at about 09:00 local time (01:00 GMT).

A brief video released by the centre from inside the tunnel showed rescuers arriving on the scene and a twisted carriage door.

Images showed an injured passenger being stretched out of the crash scene, her head and neck in a brace, passengers gathering suitcases and bags in a tilted, derailed carriage and others walking out of the tunnel on the roof of the train

Viral images show a large, yellow flatbed truck lying at the side of the tracks. A construction project has been under way near the north end of the tunnel.

It is not known how the vehicle slipped down the embankment.

The 408 train is one of the fastest deployed on a network that is generally considered safe. It can reach speeds of 130km/h (80mph).

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Health

Disruption In Oxygen Supply Kills Many COVID Patients In India

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Twenty-two COVID-19 patients on ventilators have on Wednesday died in a hospital in western India after a disruption in the supply of medical oxygen caused by a leak.

According to Reuters news agency quoting the Nashik district’s collector, Suraj Mandhar said an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital in the city, halting its supply for about half an hour before it later resumed for nearly 150 other patients in the hospital.

Media reports said all the victims were on ventilators and in need of constant oxygen supply in the hospital dedicated for COVID-19 patients.

Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.

Surinder Sonone, a police officer, said the leak occurred in a pipe connecting the oxygen supply to the main tank in the hospital complex.

India with the second highest confirmed cases of COVID-19 behind the United States has reported more than 15.6 million infections as the total number of fatalities stood at 182,553.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government has ordered an investigation into what caused the leak.

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WATCH: South Korean Fishermen Protest Against Japan Over Plans To Dump Treated Radioactive Water In Sea

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South Korean Fishermen Protest Against Japan

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Biden On George Floyd Verdict: ‘A Giant Step Forward

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United States (US) President Joe Biden has on Tuesday said the conviction of a former police officer in the killing of George Floyd “can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America” but he warned “we can’t stop here”.

After a three-week trial, the jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin has on Tuesday found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty in the killing of George Floyd, a Black man on May 25 last year

45-year-old Chauvin was filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, sparking mass protests against racism.

Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, a decision Biden said he hoped would become a “moment of significant change”.

After the verdict, Biden speaking on Tuesday from the White House alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, with the pair saying the country’s work is far from finished with the verdict.

Biden further said “we can’t leave this moment or look away thinking our work is done. We have to look at it as we did for those nine minutes and 29 seconds.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris urged lawmakers to pass the George Floyd bill aimed at reforming policing in the US saying “this bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy. This work is long overdue.”

The Reuters news agency quoting the Floyd family’s lawyer Benjamin Crump said “Justice for Black America is justice for all of America,” adding that “this case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”

People gathered outside the courtroom and on the intersection in Minneapolis where Mr Floyd was killed to celebrate the verdict while some also gathered in other cities to celebrate.

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