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At least 48 dead as Taiwan train derails in tunnel

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Taiwan train derails in tunnel reportedly killing 36 people

"We broke the window to climb to the roof of the train to get out", she added.

A train barrelled into an unmanned truck that had rolled onto the track Friday (local time) in Taiwan, leaving at least 51 people dead and dozens injured in the island's deadliest rail disaster. The inner wall of one vehicle was pushed all the way into the adjacent seat.

A Taiwan express train with nearly 500 aboard derailed in a tunnel on Friday after hitting a truck that had slid down a bank onto the track, killing at least 50 passengers and injuring 146 in the island's worst rail disaster in seven decades.

Prime Minister John Briceño also tweeted from his personal account, "The Belizean people and I are saddened by the train accident in #Taiwan that has killed over 50 people and left many others injured". An investigation has been launched, and Hualien police have interviewed one person, Weng said.

"Our train crashed into a truck", one man said in a video on Taiwan television, according to Reuters. Obviously distraught and in pain, he said the cars and seats had been twisted out of shape.

Taiwan is a mountainous island, and most of its 24 million people live in the flatlands along the northern and western coasts that are home to most of the island's farmland, biggest cities and high-tech industries.

Officials said the accident could have been caused by a maintenance vehicle sliding down an embankment and striking the train before it entered the tunnel near the coastal city of Hualien.

Many of those on the train are believed to have been travelling to celebrate the Tomb Sweeping festival - a time when people pay their respects to the dead by visiting the graves of friends and family, sprucing them up and making offerings to their spirits. "We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident".

Media showed pictures of survivors being led out of the tunnel.

Taiwanese railway officials will be required to conduct sweeps along other tracks in the system to "prevent this from happening again", Su Tseng-chang, the country's premier, said.

"We see people coming off the train and they look shaken and nervous", said Chen Tzu-chong, a Tzu Chi team leader on site.

Other Taiwan media said numerous people were standing at the time of the collision because the train was so crowded.

That crash was the island's worst since 1991, when 30 passengers were killed and 112 injured after two trains collided in Miaoli. He said the crash was the worst-ever in Taiwan.

The line connecting Taipei with Hualien was only opened in 1979.

Reportedly, the Taroko Express is one of the fastest train services in Taiwan and typically travels at around 80 miles per hour.

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