Train derails in Taiwan, 4 feared dead, says rescue centre

Taiwan: A train derailed in a tunnel in eastern Taiwan on Friday after apparently hitting a truck, with at least four people feared dead and more than 20 injured, as rescuers struggled to reach crushed carriages, the fire department said.

The train, travelling to Taitung, came off the rails in a tunnel just north of Hualien causing some carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel, the fire department said in a statement.

At least four people are believed dead, three people with serious injuries have been sent to hospital and around 20 with light injuries are waiting to go to hospital, it said.

The train was carrying around 350 people, and rescue efforts are ongoing, the department said.

Between 80 to 100 people have been evacuated from the first four carriages of the train, while carriages five to eight have "deformed" and are hard to gain access to, it added.

Reports said a truck fell from a cliff above and landed on the tracks, where a train emerging from a tunnel smashed into it. With much of the train still trapped in the tunnel, escaping passengers were forced to scale doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.

The truck apparently hit after the locomotive had emerged, causing the greatest damage to cars 1-5, according to the rescue department of Hualien Hualien county. 

The accident came on the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival. Asianet Online