Train accident in China kills at least 43

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Map showing location of Wenzhou

Two high-speed bullet trains crashed close to Wenzhou in the Zhejiang province of eastern China on Saturday. At least 43 passengers were found dead and over 200 are injured, according to the China state-run news agency Xinhua, with 12 in critical condition.

The collision occurred on a bridge after one train was struck by lightning, forcing it to stop, and was subsequently struck by a second train around 2030 local time (1230 UTC). The trains involved were the D3115 service from Hangzhou to Fuzhou, the train that was stopped at the time of the collision, and the D301 service from Beijing to Fuzhou.

As a result of the collision, two cars from the first train fell off the bridge, as well as four cars from the second train. One of the cars landed on its side, and another ended up lying vertically against the bridge. According to CCTV, a state-run broadcaster, upwards of 1,400 people were on the two trains: more than 900 on the stopped train and more than 500 on the second one.

One passenger, Liu Hongtao, is reported as saying: "The train suddenly shook violently, casting luggage all around. Passengers cried for help but no crew responded."

The government have said they will be launching an "urgent overhaul" of rail safety following the crash, the first derailment since the introduction of 155 miles per hour high-speed rail service in China four years ago, and three railway officials were also fired by the ministry of railways, which said the officials may be investigated.

On Sunday, rescuers found a small child unconscious in the wreckage, about 21 hours after the crash, who was sent to a hospital. According to a rescue worker, the child, four years old, "could still move his hands" when he was located.


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