China, Bullet Trains Crash Killing 35 People


July 25, 2011

China, Bullet Trains Crash Killing 35 People

Two high-speed bullet trains, the first travelling from Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, the second from Beijing, collided  in the eastern province of Zhejiang, China late Saturday, causing a crash and derailment that killed at least 35 people and injured more than 200 others.
Initial reports from the Xinhua News Agency were that  the first train lost power and stalled on the track when it was struck by lightning. It was then hit from behind by the second train at 8:27 p.m. local time. A preliminary investigation by the Zhejiang provincial government showed a total of six passenger coaches were derailed, two of those coaches from the moving train fell off the viaduct, and plunged about 65-100 feet from the elevated section of track.
The accident happened near Wenzhou, 860 miles south of Beijing. Both trains were headed for the coastal city of Fuzhou, in Fujian Province. It is reported that the stalled train had 900 passengers on board with about 500 passengers on the second train.
China has spent billions of dollars and plans more massive spending to expand the high-speed rail network. The huge expansion has been beset by a series of scandals. So far three railway officials have been investigated for corruption and railways Minister Liu Zhijun was dismissed earlier this year for “serious disciplinary violations.” In addition power outages and other malfunctions have plagued the showcase high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai since it opened June 30.
This accident is the first derailment on China’s high-speed rail network since the country launched the bullet trains in 2007.
Publisher: Salient News