March 27 (UPI) -- At least one person is dead and 127 others injured following the derailment of a train in Hunan Province, Chinese officials say.
The accident took place at about 11:40 a.m. on Monday, on the state-run railway that runs between Jinan, Shandong Province and Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, Pengpai and Beijing News reported.
The cause of the derailment was a landslide in a rugged region in Hunan. Heavy rains in the past few days had loosened debris in the area near Chenzhou city, according to Chinese media.
The train's engineer pulled the emergency brakes in response to the landslide. The train subsequently derailed. The falling debris collided with the train and at least five cars overturned. The first car caught fire, reports say.
Chinese authorities say the train was carrying about 700 passengers and crew. A total of 130 firefighters and 10 ambulances were involved in the rescue operation, local authorities say.
The fire on site was extinguished and more than 200 of the train's passengers were transferred to another station, according to China-based news service Sixth Tone. A landslide in 2006 in the same area led to the delay of 12 trains, according to reports.
Among the 127 people hurt, four of them were critically injured, state media said.
The derailment has delayed the schedules of more than 30 trains. Authorities say investigations are underway.
Report of the train disaster comes at a time when China has reopened transportation routes coming in and out of Hubei Province, the epicenter of the country's coronavirus outbreak starting in December.
The lockdowns across the country has taken a significant toll on the Chinese economy.
According to South Korea's Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency's Beijing office, the Chinese economy likely recorded negative growth in January and February, the first time since the country launched reforms in 1978.
China has been talking up its growth prospects as the outbreak slows in the country.