At least 18 people died and 160 were injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday. Photo: AFP

At least 18 people were killed when an express train derailed and flipped over in Taiwan on Sunday, AFP reported. It is the island’s worst rail accident for more than 25 years.

Images from the site showed the Puyuma Express train completely derailed and lying zig-zagged across the track on a popular coastal tourist route in northeastern Yilan county.

The train’s eight carriages had derailed and five had flipped onto their side near Xinma station, railway officials said, adding that 366 people were on board the service en route to the southern city of Taitung.

Emergency response officials said 168 people were injured in the accident, which happened at 4:50 pm local time.

“There are four carriages that were overturned at 90 degrees and the worst casualties were in those carriages,” said Jason Lu, head of the Taiwan Railways Administration. “The exact cause of the accident is pending investigation.”