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Chinese rail crashes raise safety issues

A metro train collision in Shanghai has injured 284 people this week, just nine weeks after a high speed rail crash killed 40 people, according to Chinese news agency Xinghua.

One metro train rear-ended another on Tuesday afternoon at about 2.51pm following a signal system failure at a station on the Line 10 subway. Most of the injuries were bruises and bone fractures, but there were also external head traumas, Xinhua reported.

Shanghai Shentong Metro Group Co. told Xinhua that the signal system failure at about 2.10pm meant the trains had to be directed over the phone by subway staff rather than by electric signals and run at slower speeds.

The metro crash occurred just nine weeks after a high-speed train crash in east China’s Zhejiang Province killed 40 people, leading the country’s State Council to order that high-speed trains across the country run at slower speeds to improve safety, according to Xinhua.

A new operation system reportedly took effect on 16 August forcing high speed trains from Shanghai to Hangzhou, and Beijing to Tianjin to slow down from 350km/h to 300km/h. The Ningbo-Wenzhou and Wenzhou-Xiamen line speeds were reportedly slowed from 250km/h to 200km/h. An inquiry into the accident is understood to be ongoing.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Typo in para 1. The high speed rail crash happened 9 weeks ago not 9 months.

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  • Hi Paul, thank you for alerting us to that typo. It has been corrected.

  • Does anyone know what type of signalling system was installed and what typw of failure ?

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