A handout photo shows a train derailed near Tabas on the line between the cities of Mashhad and Yazd. AFP
A passenger train partially derailed in eastern Iran early Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and injuring 50 more, including some critically, authorities said.
The report said the number of casualties could rise, though initial details about the disaster involving a train reportedly carrying some 350 passengers remained unclear.
Four of the seven cars in the train derailed in the early morning darkness near the desert city of Tabas, Iranian state television reported. Tabas is some 550 kilometres (340 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran.
Rescue teams with ambulances and helicopters had arrived in the remote area where communication is poor. Over a dozen people suffered critical injuries, with some transferred to local hospitals, officials said.
A train derailed near Tabas on the line between the cities of Mashhad and Yazd in Iran on Wednesday. AFP
The deputy head of Iran's state-owned railways, Mir Hassan Moussavi, told the state broadcaster that the train was carrying 348 passengers.
It "derailed after hitting an excavator" that was near the track, he added.
Five of the train's 11 coaches came off the track in the 5:30am (0100 GMT) accident, emergency services said.
The train derailment comes after a tower block collapsed in southwestern Iran last month killing at least 43 people.
In 2016, two trains collided and caught fire in northern Iran, killing 44 people and injuring dozens.