A Taiwan passenger train has smashed into a truck that had reportedly fallen from a cliff and onto the tracks, killing at least 34 people.

The train was partially derailed outside a rail tunnel along Taiwan’s east coast Friday, with scores of passengers left injured, police said.

Survivors were climbing out windows and onto roofs to reach safety.

Officials in Hualien county said rescue efforts were continuing.

The crash occurred near the Toroko Gorge scenic area about 9am on a public holiday.

A passenger is helped to climb out of a derailed train in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan.
A passenger is helped to climb out of a derailed train in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan. (AP)
Passengers are assisted out of the train. The number of fatalities and injured was not immediately clear.
Passengers are assisted out of the train. The number of fatalities and injured was not immediately clear. (AP)

Media reported 350 passengers were on board.

Reports said a truck fell from a cliff above and landed on the tracks, where a train emerging from a tunnel smashed into it.

With much of the train still trapped in the tunnel, escaping passengers were forced to scale doors, windows and roofs to reach safety.

The train is stranded in the tunnel.
The train is stranded in the tunnel. (AP)

The truck apparently hit after the locomotive had emerged, causing the greatest damage to cars 1-5, according to the rescue department of Hualien county.

Television footage and photos posted by people at the scene on the website of the official Central News Agency showed people climbing out the open door of a railcar just outside the entrance to the tunnel. The inside of one car was pushed all the way into the adjacent seat.

The accident came on the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival.

Taiwan’s last major rail crash was in October 2018 when an express train derailed while rounding a tight corner on the northeast coast, killing at least 18 people and injuring nearly 200.

In 1991, a collision in western Taiwan killed 30 people and injured 112 in its deadliest train accident.



This content first appear on 9news

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