Chinese passenger train in Hunan derailed by landslide debris

Rescue personnel are seen at a site where a train derailed in Chenzhou, in China's central Hunan province, on March 30, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - A passenger train derailed after striking debris from a landslide in central China on Monday (March 30), injuring a number of passengers and staff, officials said.

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

The statement said one car caught fire and five derailed. An unspecified number of staff and passengers were sent to hospital for treatment.

There were no immediate reports of deaths.

Unverified video posted on Chinese social media sites showed at least three cars lying on their side and smoke rising from a fire in the distance.

The train was travelling 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.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.