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Train derails in Taiwan, four feared dead

Train derails in Taiwan, four feared dead”

The train, which was traveling to Taitung, came off the rails in a tunnel at around 9:00 a.m. local time, causing some carriages to hit the walls, the fire department said.

The transport ministry put the death toll in the island's worst rail disaster in more than three decades at 36.

Images of the crash scene show carriages inside the tunnel ripped apart from the impact, while others crumpled, hindering rescuers reaching passengers.

The train was carrying about 350 passengers in eight carriages, according to Taiwan's official news agency, Central News Agency (CNA). Taiwan media said many people were standing as the train was so full, and were thrown about when it crashed.

At least 27 people were sent to hospital and dozens were still trapped, the centre added. The fire department showed a picture of what appeared to be the truck's wreckage lying next to part of the derailed train.

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

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The AP reported that a truck somehow fell off a cliff and landed directly in front of the tunnel.

Passengers climbed onto the roof of the derailed trail.

The accident occurred at the start of the busy annual Tomb Sweeping festival, a long holiday weekend when Taiwan's roads and railways are usually packed.

In 1991, two trains collided in Miaoli County, western Taiwan, resulting in 30 fatalities and injuring more than 100.

Taiwan's Eastern Railway is a popular tourist destination because of its spectacular coastline and scenery.

Taiwan's last major rail crash was in October 2018, when an express train derailed while rounding a tight corner on the north-east coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring almost 200.



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