50 dead in Taiwan train crash

Taiwan has suffered the deadliest train crash in its history. Authorities say at least 50 people are dead and more than 140 others are injured.

The limited express train was carrying nearly 500 passengers when it went off the rails in a tunnel along the island's eastern coast.

The driver is reportedly among the dead, and the railway authority says the first four of the eight cars are badly damaged. Rescuers have been struggling for hours to reach survivors trapped inside cars in the tunnel.

Officials say the train collided with a construction truck that had rolled down a slope onto the rails. Local media say the driver of that vehicle has been taken into police custody for questioning.

The crash happened at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday, at the start of a long weekend. The train was en route from the northern part of the island to the southeastern city of Taitung.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said, "I instructed fire departments, police and other organizations to engage in the rescue operation. I also ordered the military to provide support."

The president also said her administration will offer its utmost support to the passengers and their families.