(CMC) – The St. Kitts-Nevis government Monday called for a “swift and clear probe” of the train crash in Taiwan that left at least 18 people dead and more than 180 others injured on Sunday.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris in a message extending “sincerest sympathy and support” to Taiwan, said he was joining President Tsai Ing-wen in calling “for a swift and clear probe of the crash, which is the country’s worst train accident in nearly three decades.
“We pray for the bereaved families and loved ones of the persons who were killed, and our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who are missing and believed to be trapped as we offer prayers for their safe rescue,” Prime Minister Harris said, thanking all of the first responders, who assisted in removing bodies and searching for survivors.
Harris said that the 60 St. Kitts-Nevis nationals studying in the Asian country were safe noting that Jasmine Huggins, the Federation’s Ambassador to the Republic of China “has also contacted each and every one of these students to check on their safety”.
The Puyuma Express train was carrying 366 passengers to Taitung, a city on Taiwan’s southeast coast, from Shulin in New Taipei City in the north when it went off the tracks near Xinma Station in Yilan County.
Images on social media showed the mangled wreckage of the train carriages in a zigzag pattern near the tracks, and injured passengers lying on the ground. Five of the eight carriages were reported to have overturned.
St. Kitts-Nevis is among a handful of Caribbean countries that still maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan that China regards as a renegade province.
The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1981 and Harris said “President Tsai Ing-wen, her government and people have our full assurance that we stand by them and will support them in any way we can”.