A passenger train derailed in north-eastern Iran on Saturday, killing eight and injuring 12 others, state television reported.

The broadcast said four of those injured were in critical condition.

The deadly incident occurred after two coaches of a speeding train derailed at Azadvar station in Joqatai, 700 kilometers east of the capital Tehran, state television reported on Saturday.

The television said the train derailed at 10:20 a.m. local time (GMT 06:50). The train was heading to Tehran.

It is the deadliest accident since February 2004 when runaway train cars carrying fuel and industrial chemicals derailed, setting off explosions that destroyed five villages in northeastern Iran killing more than 200 people.

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