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At least 22 killed, 171 injured in Taiwan’s train derailment

Published: Updated:

At least 22 people were killed and 171 others injured on Sunday when one of Taiwan’s newer, faster trains derailed on a curve along a popular weekend route, officials said.

Late on Sunday night, hours after the Puyuma express derailed, one of the train’s eight cars was seen tipped over at about a 75-degree angle, with the entire right side destroyed.

Firefighters with lights on their hard hats, fearing people may be trapped beneath the carriage, were looking underneath as a crane prepared to upend it.

The train carried more than 366 passengers from a suburb of Taipei in the north to Taitung, a city on Taiwan’s southeast coast, when it went off the tracks at 4:50 p.m. (0850GMT), Taiwan’s central government said in a statement.

It was unclear how many people may still be trapped in the train, according to a spokesman, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity. Some 120 soldiers joined firefighters in their rescue work.

The Puyuma was launched in 2013 to handle the very difficult topography of Taiwan’s east coast and is distinct from the high-speed rail that runs on the west coast.

The train travels up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour, faster than any other in Taiwan except for the high-speed rail.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the derailment.