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At Least 48 Dead After Train Crashes In Eastern Taiwan

NOEL KING, HOST:

At least 48 people have been killed in Taiwan and dozens of others injured by a train derailment inside of a tunnel. Hundreds of people were on board that train traveling for a long holiday weekend. This is Taiwan's worst train crash in decades. And here's NPR's Emily Feng.

EMILY FENG, BYLINE: Footage released from Taiwan's national fire agency shows part of the derailed train inside a long tunnel along Taiwan's mountainous east coast. Authorities say the train first hit a truck parked near this tunnel in Hualien County. Then the train derailed.

(SOUNDBITE OF KNOCKING)

FENG: News broadcasts in Taiwan show the remnants of train carriages inside the tunnel. You can hear people pounding at the carriages trying to rescue those inside.

Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, said all emergency services had been mobilized. Shortly after the derailment, they went into the tunnel to help rescue those trapped. President Tsai called the derailment a heartbreaking incident.

The train is an express train that was traveling from Taiwan's northern capital to the east coast, which is a popular vacation spot. The crash happened just as Taiwan kicked off a long holiday weekend. This week is not just Easter, but also the Tomb-Sweeping holiday, when people remember their ancestors and deceased family.

Emily Feng, NPR News, Fujian, China. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Emily Feng is NPR's Beijing correspondent.

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