UPDATED: One dead, 127 hurt in China passenger train derailment

Rescuers search at the site where a train derailed in Chenzhou in China’s central Hunan province on March 30, 2020. – A passenger train derailed after striking debris from a landslide in central China on March 30, injuring a number of passengers and staff, officials said. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

CHENZHOU, China (AFP) — One person was killed and 127 injured when a passenger train derailed in central China on Monday after striking debris from a landslide that had fallen to the track, the state-run railway system said.

The accident happened around midday in a rural part of Hunan province and came after recent heavy rains triggered landslides in the area, a statement said.

One car caught fire and five were derailed, it said.

A railway police officer was killed and 122 passengers were hurt, four of them seriously. Five rail staff also suffered light injuries.

A video posted on Chinese social media and verified by AFP showed at least three cars lying on their side and a plume of smoke rising in the distance.

The train was traveling from the eastern city of Jinan to Guangzhou in the nation’s south.

Parts of southern, eastern and central China have been soaked by steady rains beginning last week.

© Agence France-Presse