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Termites blamed for train accident

A forestry expert investigating a fatal railway accident in Taiwan has said termites gnawed a large hole in a 100-year-old tree, causing it to fall and crush an oncoming narrow-gauge train.

All of the five fatalities in Wednesday's accident near the mountain resort of Alishan were tourists from China.

Dozens of people were injured in the mishap.

During an inspection forestry expert Wang Ya-nan said the hole in the tree was hidden from sight and that it toppled over at an unfortunate moment.

Officials said the conductor halted the train after the tree hit one of the carriages, but that large branches caused several others to overturn seconds later.


From Belfast Telegraph