The fire department said in a statement that the train heading for Taitung derailed in a tunnel north of Hualien, causing some carriages to hit the tunnel wall.
It is said that at least four people have died, three have been taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and about 20 people with minor injuries are awaiting admission.
The department said that the train is carrying about 350 people and rescue work is still in progress.
It added that 80 to 100 people in the first four carriages of the train had been evacuated, while five to eight carriages had been “deformed” and were difficult to enter.
“Does everyone ride in a carriage?”
The official Central News Agency said a truck that was “not parked correctly” was suspected of slipping into the train track. The fire department showed a photo that appeared to be the wreckage of a truck next to a partially derailed train.
Images from the accident site show that the carriage in the tunnel collapsed and was separated from the impact. Passengers placed their suitcases and luggage in the inclined and derailed carriage, while others were walking along the wrecked railroad tracks.
The accident happened at the beginning of a long weekend in the traditional Tomb Sweeping Day hospital.
Taiwan’s mountainous east coast is a popular tourist destination.
In 2018, a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan, killing 18 people and injuring 175. This is the island’s worst railway disaster in more than 30 years.
This is a breakthrough story. Follow-up update.