Probe into Wenzhou high-speed train crash ends

Updated: 2011-12-06 19:48


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BEIJING - China has concluded an investigation into the fatal high-speed train crash that killed 40 people in east China in July, and a report is forthcoming, an official with the country's work safety watchdog said Tuesday.

An investigation team under the State Council, or China's Cabinet, is "gathering and sorting out the results of the investigation to develop a report," said Huang Yi, spokesman with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).

On July 23, a high-speed train rammed into a stalled train near the city of Wenzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang, leaving 40 dead and 191 injured.

An investigative report was originally due in mid-September, but the SAWS said investigators needed more time to do further analysis and tests to answer questions concerning technology and management.

Huang said the probe did not exceed the country's legal time limit for accident investigations, as the time spent on technical evaluation is not counted as part of the investigative period.

Investigators must submit their report within 60 days after an accident happens, and the time limit can be extended by another 60 days at most under special circumstances, according to regulations.

The investigation team will "submit the report as soon as possible and publicize the results to give a sincere, responsible answer to the people," Huang said.

Preliminary investigations revealed serious design flaws in railway signaling equipment, as well as loopholes in railway safety management, Huang said in August, noting that the accident could have been prevented.

Since its establishment, the investigation team has conducted on-the-spot inspections, simulated tests, technical evaluations, expert reviews and other investigative work in a scientific, objective and fair manner, Huang said Tuesday.

The members of the investigation team include senior officials from SAWS, the Ministry of Supervision, the Ministry of Railways, the All-china Federation of Trade Unions, the provincial government of Zhejiang, and the Ministry of Supreme People's Procuratorate, as well as railway experts.

According to the State Council, the investigation team is mainly in charge of ascertaining the facts, cause, casualties and direct economic loss of the train crash, while also recommending punishments for those held responsible for the accident.