Taiwan train crash kills at least 18, injures 160

Several carriages flipped during the accident in Yilan County

Image Several carriages flipped during the accident in Yilan county

Fearing people may be trapped beneath the auto, firefighters with lights on their hard hats peered underneath as a crane prepared to upend it.

In television reports, passengers said the train, which was en route from Shulin to Taitung in eastern Taiwan, was travelling much faster than usual as it went through three curves leading to Hsinma station, where it was not scheduled to stop.

Some passengers were crushed to death, Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chen Chung-chi said.

At least six compartments of the train overturned, said Taiwan Railways Administration, according to Apple Daily.

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Most of the deaths were in the first vehicle, which flipped over, a government spokesman said.

Photos from the scene showed the train's eight cars in a zig-zag formation near the tracks.

Soldiers were removing bodies and attempting to identify them, Chen added, but nightfall was complicating rescue work. More than 20 soldiers had joined firefighters in their rescue work as of 8 p.m.

Most of the deaths were in the first vehicle, which flipped over, a government spokesman said.

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

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

The Puyuma class train is a tilt train that has been operating in Taiwan for six years, and travels at a maximum speed of 130 kilometers per hour.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

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At least 17 people have died after a train derailed and flipped over in Taiwan Sunday, October 21, authorities said.

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