Taiwan train crash: At least 34 killed, 72 injured

At least 36 killed after train derails in Taiwan

Footage released by the Taiwan Red Cross showed specialists with helmets and headlights walking on the roof of the stricken train inside the tunnel to reach survivors.

Another rescued woman said: "My whole body fell to the floor".

Images show a large, yellow flatbed truck lying at the side of the tracks.

Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, called it a "heartbreaking incident" in a tweet this morning.

The accident occurred on Taiwan's eastern railway line around 9:30 am (0130 GMT).

Due to a long history of deadly earthquakes, Taiwan has experienced rescue teams on permanent standby to deal with disasters and retrieve trapped people.

Many people who were standing for the journey were thrown about when it crashed.

"Around four people are without life signs", the Central Emergency Operation Center said in a statement, adding rescuers were trying to get to four carriages inside the tunnel that were badly damaged and hard to access.

Images of the crash scene showed carriages inside the tunnel ripped apart from the impact, while others crumpled, hindering rescuers reaching passengers, though as of mid-afternoon only two people remained trapped in the wreckage.

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Officials in Hualien county said rescue efforts were continuing on the train reportedly carrying 350 passengers.

The accident came on the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival, an annual religious festival when people travel to their hometowns for family gatherings and to worship at the graves of their ancestors.

During the festival, people return to ancestral villages to tidy up the tombs of their relatives and make offerings.

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.

With the help of multiple tunnels and bridges, it winds its way through towering mountains and dramatic gorges before entering the picturesque Huadong Valley.

Meanwhile, local media reports said that the train driver has been missing.

The last major train derailment in Taiwan was in 2018 and left 18 people dead at the southern end of the same line. Authorities say at least 41 people have lost their lives and more than 60 are injured.

Weng said a construction site truck operated by the railway administration slid onto the track from a work site on the hillside above.

A train in Taiwan was derailed on Friday morning, killing at least four people.

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