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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Chinese rail crash caused by design flaws, relaxed safety controls, final report says


The high-speed train crash that occurred in China last summer was caused by “major design flaws” in train operating equipment, “relaxed” safety controls and poor emergency response to equipment failure, according to Chinese news service Xinhua. The final investigation report was released last week by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

On July 23, 2011, a lightning strike caused the first train to lose power near Wenzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang and a signal failure caused a second train to rear-end it, leaving 40 people dead and 172 injured, the report said.

The state council also reported that 54 people will be punished for playing a role in the crash, including former railway minister Liu Zhijun and former railway ministry deputy chief engineer Zhang Shuguang, who were removed from office last year over an alleged “severe violation of discipline,” according to Xinhua.

Liu and Zhang, along with China Railway Signal and Communication Corp. Board Chairman Ma Cheng, were chiefly responsible for the crash, according to the state council.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/2/2012