At least 18 people have been killed and 160 wounded in the derailment of a passenger train near Taipei today, the National Fire Service of Taiwan reported.
The Puyuma 6432 express train, which ran from Shulin to Taitung and carried 366 passengers on board, derailed at 1650 local time (08.50 GMT).
The rescue and rescue services, which had the support of 120 soldiers, have finally managed to get all the passengers out of the eight wagons of the convoy, according to the firefighters.
All the injured, some of them very serious, were taken to nearby hospitals, where they are being treated.
The train derailed after leaving the locomotive in a curve and hit a cement post, which was half knocked down, according to the images of the Taiwanese television network CTI.
Five wagons were very affected, falling from the tracks to areas of lower height, with highly deformed parts, according to the images transmitted live from the scene by the NextTV television.
The rescue teams had difficulties to get the passengers out of the wagons and had to use torches to open exits.
One of the reasons so many people have been injured in the accident is the lack of custom in the use of seat belts on trains, Taiwanese experts said.
The Government of Taiwan has initiated an investigation into the causes of the derailment, since, according to data from the Taiwanese railway company, the train was revised less than a year ago and was in good condition.