Taiwan train crash | India deeply saddened by loss of lives in accident: MEA

Police officers move passengers' belongings from the site a day after the deadly train derailment at a tunnel north of Hualien, Taiwan on April 3, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

India on Saturday conveyed condolences to Taiwan after the worst rail accident in the history of the island nation left at least 50 dead. The message triggered a series of exchanges among the officials on both sides, a rare sight in public diplomacy between the two countries that do not maintain full-fledged diplomatic ties because of objections from Beijing.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in the railway accident in Taiwan. Our deepest condolences to the families. And our prayers for the early recovery of the injured,” said Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

The message drew a prompt response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, which in a social media message thanked the Ministry of External Affairs and said, “The government is working to ensure rescue and recovery efforts continue apace while making certain those affected receive all requisite support.”

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Dr. Joseph Wu also came on social media and thanked India “for the expression of sentiment and support”. “This genuinely friendly gesture will touch the people, and bring Taiwan and India closer in a real and lasting manner,” said Dr. Joseph Wu.

The India-Taipei Association also issued a statement expressing condolences and wished a “speedy recovery to those injured in the accident”.

The express train with around 500 passengers crashed inside a tunnel after hitting a truck that had fallen on the track. The train was heading to the eastern city of Taitung from capital Taipei.

Taiwan and India have maintained strong trade relationship over the last three decades, but they continue to maintain bilateral relation at the level of Trade Representatives because of objections from China. Both sides are however expected to intensify collaboration in the post-pandemic scenario in high-end industrial sectors as well as in the production of vaccines.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:35:55 PM |

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