Taiwan train de-rails, at least four dead, many injured

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The train was carrying around 350 people, 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.

Another live broadcast by UDN outside the tunnel showed at least two undamaged train carriages with rescuers helping passengers escape. Taiwan media said many people were standing as the train was so full, and were thrown about when it crashed.

A further 72 people were still believed to be trapped inside train carriages while 61 passengers had been sent to hospital.

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.

CNA said a truck that was "not parked properly" was suspected of sliding into the path of the train.

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

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Images of the crash scene showed some carriages inside the tunnel crumbled and ripped apart from the impact.

Taiwan's mountainous east coast is a popular tourist destination, and the railway line from Taipei down the east coast is renowned for its tunnels and route that hugs the coastline.

The accident occurred on Taiwan's eastern railway line around 9.30am (0130 GMT) near the coastal city of Hualien.

Rescue crews in Taiwan responded Friday to a train derailment on its scenic east coast that killed at least 34 and prompted dozens of passengers to crawl out of windows to safety.

The accident happened at around 9am local time (2am BST) and came on the first day of the four-day Qingming Tomb Sweeping Festival.

Taiwan's last major crash in 2018 killed 18 people when a passenger train derailed in Yilan, eastern Taiwan.

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