- Title: CHINA: Candlelight vigil held for victims of high-speed train crash
- Date: 29th July 2011
- Summary: PEOPLE LOOKING ON
- Reuters ID: LVA4FJ5J77KYH9JVT80FJ7JU0KKS
- Location: China, China
- Country: China
- Duration: 00:00:06
- Topics: Disasters,Transport
- Story Text: Dozens of local Wenzhou residents gathered at the city's main square on Thursday (July 28) night to mourn the victims of the high-speed train crash.
They worked together to use candles to form the words "Seeking the Truth" and "7.23", the date of the train crash.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday had vowed a thorough and transparent probe into last week's train crash that killed at least 39 people, visiting the crash site in a bid to calm public outrage at the government's handling of the disaster.
The train crash in Wenzhou was the nation's worst railway accident since 2008, and had occurred when a high-speed train rammed into a stalled train late Saturday (July 23).
The accident triggered angry accusations that officials had covered up facts and stifled media coverage to protect an ambitious rail expansion plan and the Party's image of unruffled control.
Many of the participants of the vigil said they were gathered at the square after reading posts to organise such an event on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.
Efforts by the propaganda department to bar Chinese media from questioning official accounts of the accident fuelled the anger and suspicion, especially about the death toll and rescue efforts.
A Chinese railway research institute Thursday took responsibility on for a flaw in signalling equipment that led to the accident, a rare admission of guilt by a state body, and the authorities have promised a full review of safety procedures.
Three mid-level railway officials have also been sacked.
But many like local resident Mr. Xia (pron: seeah) who joined the vigil when he was passing by the main square, said the railways department still had not taken responsibility for its part in the accident.
"I feel very bad for the victims of this train crash. Up till now, the railways department has not come up directly to answer to this (accident). I came here feeling like I am helping out as a good Samaritan," he said.
Another participant, 26-year-old He Xingte (pron: her sing-ter) said the government must know that public had the right to know the truth about the accident.
"This was organised by the people on Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter). People came to show their concern about this matter, all wanting to seek the truth on this. This is after all a big incident."
A few other small groups of people also took to flying red sky lanterns at the main square, in a traditional event to mourn the dead.
Soon after the crash, domestic media had blamed foreign technology. But Thursday, railway authorities said a signal, that should have turned red after lightning hit the train that stalled, remained green, and rail staff then failed to see something was amiss, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
The final results of the probe into the crash would be released by mid-September, the state news agency said. The Railway Ministry has also ordered a two-month safety review of railway operations.
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- Embargoed:13th August 2011 13:00
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