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At least 32 dead as bullet trains collide in China

Two carriages of one of the trains fell off a bridge in Zhejiang Province following the collision, in which one train ran into the back of another. Many of the injured have been taken to hospital.

Updated 9.06pm

AT LEAST 32 people have died after a high speed train collision in China.

Reuters reports that one train ran into the back of another. The first train had run out of power, and it’s reported that it may have been struck by lightning.

Two carriages were knocked off the bridge, while the official Xinhua News Agency said four cars on the second train also derailed, but it did not say how serious that was.

One carriage from the first train fell about 65 to 100 feet (20 to 30 meters) from an elevated section of track, Xinhua said. Pictures on the Internet showed one badly damaged car lying on its side by the bridge and the second car leaning against the bridge after landing on its end..

Xinhua quoted an unidentified witness as saying “rescuers have dragged many passengers out of the coach that fell on the ground.”

Xinhua earlier has reported that at least 89 people were injured in the collision. The news agency did not give a new figure for the number of injured after reporting that the death toll had been raised to 32.

Xinhuanet earlier reported that one of the trains was travelling from the provincial capital of Hangzhou to the city of Wenzhou.

Chinese website Sina reported (translation needed) that many passengers were trapped. Images of the crash show extensive damage to the carriages and emergency services on the scene. Sina also reports that each carriage carries 100 people.

Yahoo News reported that China’s Premier Wen Jiabao opened a $33 billion high speed line from Beijing on 30 June, and that the country has spent a massive amount of money on the network.

- Additional reporting by AP