At least 17 people were killed when a train derailed and rammed into an excavator in Tabas in eastern Iran on Wednesday, media reported.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) has put the number of the wounded at 50, Xinhua news agency reported.

The incident occurred at 5:30 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) as the train was moving from the eastern city of Tabas to the central province of Yazd, the agency quoted Mehdi Valipour, head of the IRCS's Rescue and Relief Organisation, as saying.

Teams of rescuers have been dispatched to the site of the incident, which is located 50 kilometers off Tabas, he said, adding ambulances and helicopters have been sent to the site.

There were 348 people on board the train, the official news agency IRNA reported.

The train colliding with an excavator parked along the railroad was reportedly the cause of the accident.

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