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48 killed, many injured after train ‘crashes into truck’ in Taiwan

A train carrying around 490 people crashed into a truck and derailed killing at least 48 people and more than 100 others injured in eastern Taiwan.

The train was said to have come off the rails in a tunnel just north of Hualien causing some carriages to hit the wall of the tunnel after which it hit a truck that was “not parked properly” and is suspected to have slid onto the train tracks in the mountainous area, the official Central News Agency said.

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

According to firefighters, between 80 and 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.

The firefighters added that about 70 people remain trapped in the wreckage and rescue efforts are ongoing.

The crash is the island’s worst rail disaster in at least four decades.

“Our train crashed into a truck,” one man said in a video aired on Taiwanese television, showing pictures of the wreckage. “The truck came falling down.”

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

With much of the train still trapped in the tunnel, escaping passengers were forced to scale doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.

The last major rail crash in the country was in 2018 when an express train derailed while negotiating a tight corner on the northeast coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring nearly 200.

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