Tue, Oct 23, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Train Derailment: Ministry describes emergency response

GOVERNMENT ACTION:Officials said they asked mental healthcare services to help those affected by the incident, while the NHIA is to cover costs for uninsured people

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Police officers collect luggage from carriages of Puyuma Express No. 6432, which derailed outside Sinma Station in Yilan County on Sunday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Health and Welfare yesterday outlined emergency services dispatched to the scene of the train derailment in Yilan County on Sunday.

The Puyuma Express No. 6432, carrying 366 passengers, traveling from Shulin Station in New Taipei City to Taitung County derailed at 4:50pm near Sinma (新馬) Train Station, killing 18 people and injuring 190.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Shih Chung-liang (石崇良), Department of Medical Affairs director-general, arrived in Yilan on Sunday evening to establish a medical command center to coordinate healthcare resources on site and visit hospitals where injured people were taken.

The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation reported that blood stocks were sufficient to treat people injured in the incident, Chen said.

The ministry said that injured passengers were taken to 15 nearby hospitals in Yilan, Taipei, Hualien and Taitung.

The bodies of those who were killed were taken to the Suao Branch of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Yilan for family members to identify, while its Taipei head hospital dispatched healthcare personnel to Suao to assist with treatment, the ministry said.

Four hospitals in Yilan County launched the mechanism for emergency medical healthcare and rescue services for multiple casualties, calling in additional medical staff.

Wang Che-chao (王哲超), director of the ministry’s Public Relations Office, said it asked the Yilan Bureau of Public Health and the Yilan Department of Social Affairs to provide mental healthcare services to family members of those who died.

It also asked the Songde Branch of Taipei City Hospital and the Yuli Branch of Taipei Veterans General Hospital to assist those who were injured as well as their families.

Wang said the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) instructed its Taipei and eastern divisions to process cases regardless of whether they provided National Health Insurance documentation amid exceptional circumstances and the NHIA would cover the costs.

A toll-free, 24-hour hotline is available for people emotionally affected by the incident, the ministry said.

The hotline can be reached at 0800-788-995.

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