At least 22 people have been killed and over 170 others have been injured after one of Taiwan's newer, faster trains derailed on a curve along a popular weekend route, just south of the city of Luodong.
Taiwan's central government said that rescue services were at the scene and that the premier had been notified and was highly concerned over the safety of the travelers.
The Puyuma express train was carrying more than 366 passengers when it went off the tracks in northeastern Yilan county at 4.50pm local time on Sunday, the Taiwan central government said. "They were crushed, so they died right away", Chen said.
A further 168 people were hurt and had been taken to four nearby hospitals for treatment, he said.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the derailment.
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However, the driver of the train was quoted by local news media as saying he felt something on the track as it was going around a bend.
A 43-year-old American woman was among those injured, according to the ministry. The Hong Kong Immigration Department said there had been no reports of any Hongkongers being hurt, but a spokesman for the department said he was in contact with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
All eight carriages on the Puyuma Express train in Taiwan were derailed and five flipped onto their side in the accident. "I'm not shure she survived", a passenger told reporters.
Taiwan has an extensive train network and more than half a million passengers travel on the system every day.
The Taiwan Railways Administration said in a statement that the train had been moving between two stations in Yilan County before the derailment occurred.