Dozens killed in Taiwan's train derailment

A Taiwan express train with almost 500 people on board derailed in a tunnel on Friday (April 1) after hitting a truck that had slid down onto the track.

At least 50 people were killed, including the driver.

It is the island's worst rail disaster in seven decades.

Images from the scene showed some carriages ripped apart by the impact, others crumpled, hindering rescuers in their efforts to reach passengers.

Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang visited the crash site as rescuers continued their search.

By mid-afternoon local time on Friday, no one was still trapped, but the fire department said it had found body parts, meaning that the number of those killed is likely to rise.

Taiwan's government said there were 496 people on the train, including 120 without seats.

Many were tourists and people heading home at the start of a long weekend holiday for the traditional Tomb Sweeping Day.

One French citizen was amongst the dead, according to officials.

The train was travelling from the capital Taipei, to the southeastern city of Taitung.

It came off the rails north of Hualien after hitting a truck that had slide off a road from a nearby construction site.

Feng Hui-shen, the Taiwan Railways Administration's deputy director said it is suspected that the vehicle did not brake properly and slid along the site and entered the train track.

The official Central News Agency said police had taken in the manager for questioning.