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Ministry spokesman apologizes for deadly crash

Updated 3:50 am July 25

An official with China's Ministry of Railways late Sunday delievered an apology to all passengers following a deadly train collision in the eastern province of Zhejiang, which left 35 people dead and 192 others injured.

Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping also expressed condolences to the victims and bereaved families at a press conference Sunday night.

The accident occurred at about 8:30 pm Saturday on a viaduct near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang when bullet train D301 rear-ended D3115. The first four cars of the moving train fell off the viaduct onto the ground below. The last two cars of the stalled train derailed.

An initial investigation showed that train D3115 lost power and stalled after being struck by lightning.

A total of 132 people are still being treated in hospital, Wang said.

Twelve people remain in critical condition, said Cheng Jinguo, deputy head of the Wenzhou health bureau.

Cheng said at the press conference that 52 people who suffered slight injuries had been discharged from hospital.

Wang said the crash has caused large number of casualties and great property losses. The ministry will find out the cause through thorough investigations and take effective measures to prevent similar accidents.

Despite the accident, the spokesman said the ministry is still confident in China's high-speed trains.

"China's high-speed train is advanced and qualified. We have confidence in it," he said.

However, he also said that the high-speed railway service has only operated for a short period, and its safety is confronted with many new situations and problems.

"Safety should be put as the top priority," Wang said.

The ministry would promptly correct the mistakes and thoroughly analyze the safety system to eradicate potential risks, he said.

The damaged rails have been repaired and were ready to resume operation but the reopening was delayed by the stormy weather, according to Wang. [More]

Ministry apologizes for deadly train crash
A woman looks at her child who was asleep while receiving treatment in hospital after a train derailment accident near Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province Saturday night, July 23, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
Jumping through a broken window of the deformed train carriage she was trapped in was certainly dangerous, but it also might have saved Feng's life.
The elderly woman and her family survived a high-speed train derailment that occurred at 8:38 pm in the city of Wenzhou on Saturday. The accident has left at least 35 people dead and 210 others injured in east China's Zhejiang Province.
When the accident occurred, the 62-year-old Feng, her husband and 14-year-old grandson were in the No 4 carriage of high-speed train D301. [More]


Rescue efforts: 

Toddler rescued 21 hours after crash

A toddler was rescued about 21 hours after a deadly high-speed train crash in East China's Zhejiang Province, according to local firefighters.

The boy was found unconscious around 5:15 pm Sunday when rescuers were clearing a badly damaged carriage, said a local firefighter who did not give his name.

"When we found him, he could still move his hands," said the firefighter, adding that cleanup efforts around the bridge where the accident took place have nearly been completed.

The boy was rushed to the No. 118 Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in the city of Wenzhou, he said. [More]

Top leaders call for all-out efforts

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao called for all-out efforts to rescue passengers and ordered to make rescue work a priority, said a statement on the website of the Ministry of Railways. [More]

Vice premier rushes to train collision scene

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang is on his way to Wenzhou after a bullet train derailing accident late Saturday in the east China city to assist the relief work and conduct investigation. [More]

China Red Cross Society pledges donation

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) and the Chinese Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) have pledged to donate 300,000 yuan ($45,527) to help those who were injured in a deadly high-speed train crash in East China.

The RCSC and the CRCF will each contribute half of the total amount, the RCSC said in a statement on Sunday. The RCSC did not give specific details regarding how the donations will be used. [More]




58 trains suspended in E China after train crash

The operation of 58 trains was suspended on Sunday after a train collision and derailment in east China's Zhejiang province killed at least 35 people and injured more than 200, railway authorities said.

The Ministry of Railways said the damaged train tracks are under repair, with service expected to be resumed by 6:00 pm Sunday.

[Full text]

Lightning-triggered crash

The accident occurred after high-speed train D3115 was allegedly hit by lightning and lost drive, and then rear-ended by another bullet train D301.

The former train was running from the provincial capital Hangzhou to the southeastern city of Fuzhou, and the latter one traveled from Beijing to Fuzhou.


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