- Title: CHINA: Over 200 injured and at least 35 killed in high-speed train crash
- Date: 25th July 2011
- Summary: MALE VICTIM'S FACE
- Embargoed: 9th August 2011 13:00
- Location: China, China
- Country: China
- Topics: Disasters,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVA14AQVS8FUDTICFDBB8I38D7A2
- Story Text: Rescue workers dug through the tangled wreckage on Sunday (July 24) after a high-speed train smashed into a stalled train in eastern China, killing at least 35 and injuring 210 in China's deadliest train disaster since 2008.
The crash occurred on Saturday (July 23) after the first train lost power due to a lightning strike and a bullet train following behind crashed into it, state media said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network.
Two foreigners also died in the accident on a bridge near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, 860 miles (1,380 kms) south of Beijing, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.
Hundreds of the injured received treatment at local hospitals.
Dozens of survivors lay on beds in the corridor of Kangning hospital, many of them with injuries to their heads and limbs.
Sixty-two-year-old Mrs. Huang was on the stationary train with her four-year-old grandson when the second train ran into it.
She herself received minor injuries to her shoulder, and was taking pain killers to ease the pain.
"At the time I was extremely nervous, but I thought 'It's OK so long as my grandson is OK'. But my grandson was fine, he said 'Granny, don't worry, I'm fine. We'll be out quickly," she said.
Her grandson, Ma Zhixie, was uninjured, and was afterwards smothered with attention by his relieved mother, and father Ma.
"At the time I felt so lucky that it wasn't worse. My son is fine, and I only had one relative who was seriously injured, everyone else was only lightly hurt. I can only say that at first I was so worried that they would be badly hurt, but now I feel very relaxed," said Mr. Ma.
The hospital received 54 of the first victims to be pulled from the collision, but only 17 remained on Sunday (July 24).
"Now there are 17 patients left in the hospital and their conditions are all relatively stable. Our treatment of the victims will also deal with their psychological needs, and we will provide them with psychological support," said the chairman of Kangning hospital, Guan Weili.
In the city centre, dozens queued to give blood at a donation bus in sweltering temperatures.
"I saw the news yesterday evening and I had an inexpressible sadness, I felt that human life is so frail. So I decided I would come, and saw that lots of other people were doing it, so I left my kid at home and rushed here to give blood. I think if everyone contributed a little bit of love, then society would be really great," said health worker Wang Hongyan.
One train was heading from Beijing to the coastal city of Fuzhou, the other was running from Hangzhou, also to Fuzhou.
The total power failure on Saturday rendered useless an electronic safety system designed to warn following trains of stalled trains on the tracks up ahead, and automatically halt them before a collision can occur.
Rail remains the most popular method of transport in China and trains are usually extremely crowded, with long-distance trains carrying as many as 1,000 passengers.
The government has spent billions of dollars improving the railway network of the world's most populous country and has said it plans to spend 120 billion US dollars a year for several years on railway construction.
But the vast network has been hit by a series of scandals in addition to the safety incidents of the past few months. Three railway officials have been investigated for corruption so far this year, according to local media reports.
China's last major train disaster was in 2008, when an express train travelling from Beijing to the eastern coastal city of Qingdao derailed and collided with another train, killing 72 and injuring 416 people.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None