A passenger train has derailed in eastern Iran, resulting in a death toll of at least 22 and wounding 87 people, reported Associated Press.

Run by the state-owned Islamic Republic Railway, the train with around 350 passengers onboard was travelling from the northeastern city of Mashhad to the central city of Yazd.

It collided with an excavator before going off the rails 50km from Tabas, state news agency IRNA reported citing a railway official.

With around 900km by road from Tehran, Tabas is situated in the South Khorasan province.

The accident is currently being probed, and it is believed that the presence of the excavator near the track was due to a repair project.

According to State TV, 11 carriages of the train had tipped over in the early-morning accident and some of them were shifted to the hospital by helicopter.

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By GlobalData

Emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi was quoted by the state television as saying that the death toll may increase as some of the injured are in critical condition.

Without detecting or providing details on their alleged crimes, arrest warrants were issued for six people, reported Iranian media.

President Ebrahim Raisi has issued orders to speed up the investigation of the causes that lead to the accident.

Last year in June, train crashes in Egypt killed two people as well as wounded 40 others.

The accident occurred when a locomotive vehicle crashed into a passenger train at Misr Station, Alexandria.