17 killed, 126 hurt in train derailment accident in Taiwan

17 killed, 126 hurt in train derailment accident in Taiwan

A train derailment in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday killed at least 17 people and injured 80, government authorities said.

At least 22 people have died after an express train derailed and flipped over on a popular coastal tourist route in Taiwan today, the island's worst rail accident for more than 20 years.

The Puyuma service was carrying more than 366 passengers from a suburb of Taipei toward Taitung, a city on Taiwan's south-east coast, when it came off the tracks at a curve at about 4.50pm local time.

All eight train carriages derailed in the incident, with five of these overturning, the ministry said.

Images from the site showed the Puyuma Express train completely derailed and lying zig-zagged across the track.

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that more than 30 people were still trapped in the train early on Sunday evening. About 120 soldiers joined firefighters in the rescue work.

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On a live feed provided by Taiwan's United Daily News, rescuers were seen carefully carrying what appeared to be a body wrapped in white plastic away from the site.

When he arrived at the scene he saw local residents helping train passengers to escape.

Magistrate of Yilan County, Chen Chin-te (陳金德), said the cause of the accident is still to be identified.

The train began its journey in New Taipei City in northern Taiwan.

The trains travel up to 150 kilometres per hour - faster than any other in Taiwan except for high-speed rail.

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