China winter chaos sparks railway stampede

( Reuters ) - A stampede at Guangzhou railway station killed one person when frustrated passengers rushed to board trains after days of cancellations because of fierce cold and snow, police confirmed on Sunday.

Officials warned people to stay away from railway stations because service was recovering only slowly and was further strained as trains were commandeered to deliver emergency supplies to areas of the country battered by the worst winter weather in 50 years.

The crush at Guangzhou station, which had been besieged by 260,000 people, killed a migrant worker hoping to get home to celebrate the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar, the Lunar New Year.

Authorities said it was the first stampede death of the weather crisis that has killed more than 60, mainly in road accidents.

"When the crowd surged in, people who dropped things didn't dare to stop and pick them up," said Li Liujie, a factory worker who took a train Guangzhou on Friday, the day of the accident.

"It was just too many people. There was nothing the police could do about it," Li said.

Experts forecast the freak winter could continue past Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated mid-week, and said the cold and storms in areas unaccustomed to such weather was the country's worst natural disaster in decades.

Emergency crews were still struggling to restore power to parts of southern China blacked out for a week.

Mobilizing the might of the state, China has deployed more than 300,000 troops and nearly 1.1 million militia and army reservists to get traffic moving and ensure power supplies, Xinhua reported.

In Chenzhou, a city of 4 million in the southern province of Hunan, which has been without electricity for nine days, shopkeepers huddled under blankets while cooks warmed their hands over their woks.

At least the snow had stopped falling there by late Saturday afternoon.

Authorities in Guangzhou said their priority was to clear the backlog of thousands still waiting at the railway station, having cajoled millions more migrant workers to stay put and skip what for many is their only chance each year to visit family.

"The railways can't go beyond their capacity to meet everyone's need," Wang Yongping, Ministry of Railways spokesman, was reported as saying by Xinhua. "We have to say sorry to those who couldn't get tickets."

Passengers at the station said police and soldiers added more layers of cordons on Sunday to hold the swarming crowds back. The security force at the station numbers 12,000, Xinhua reported.

Man Xifeng, a 21-year-old factory worker, counted himself lucky to make it inside after waiting two days.

"It is very sad and scary because there are so many people waiting to go home," he said.

The blizzards have created China's worst-ever power crisis after toppled power lines and icy rails crippled the rail network, holding up thousands of coal trains.

Miners are now working overtime and, as the railways creak back to life, coal shipments are being given priority, reducing crowded passenger trains to a crawl.

The government has put the immediate economic losses of the weather chaos at $7.5 billion. It says that 223,000 houses have been toppled by snow or ice and 862,000 damaged.

As much as 21 cm (7 inches) of snow covered Shanghai, the financial capital, closing its bustling port on Saturday and stranding more than a thousand ships. Beijing was cold but clear.

New road put into operation in Iran's Golestan Province
New road put into operation in Iran's Golestan Province
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Foundation of several manufacturing enterprises laid in Iran's Qazvin Province
Foundation of several manufacturing enterprises laid in Iran's Qazvin Province
Loading Bars
Latest
Stock gains power Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to higher profit
More than 165,000 apply for Turkey’s most popular scholarship
Georgian Railway resumes passenger transfers
Kazakhstan reports value increase in all types of deposits
New road put into operation in Iran's Golestan Province
Azerbaijan sets up working subgroups to prepare 2021-2025 Development Strategy
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Azerbaijan reports 172 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Finance to put up medium-term bonds for auction
Azerbaijan's banking sector ends January 2021 with profit
Foundation of several manufacturing enterprises laid in Iran's Qazvin Province
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for metal detector via tender
USAID to promote start-up dev’t in Turkmenistan
President Aliyev: Any attempt to violate implementation of November 10th declaration will be very harmful for Armenia (VIDEO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for February 27
Bosnian TV channel visits liberated Azerbaijani Aghdam, reminds of Khojaly genocide
Azerbaijani police officers find ordnances left by Armenians in Khojavand (PHOTO)
Long-term energy demand impact of COVID-19 is modest
President Aliyev to Iranian reporter: Your question is a kind of an accusation (VIDEO)
New Zealand's largest city Auckland back to lockdown after COVID-19 case
Iran pins hopes on Swiss financial channel to purchase COVID-19 vaccines
Foreign journalists visit village where two-year-old Azerbaijani girl was killed by Armenians
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Chabahar port revealed
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for catering, housekeeping services
Kazakhstan boosts imports of Switzerland-made products
Uzbek ministry, German Society for International Cooperation sign agreement
Uzbekistan, China expand mutual trade despite COVID-19
Georgia reports 373 new cases of coronavirus on Feb.27
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Baku Metro continues preparatory work for commissioning of new 'November' 8 station
Iran's exports to Russia increase
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for pumps via tender
Kazakh airlines eye to launch several flights on Turkestan-Istanbul route
UNDP in Turkmenistan opens tender for services on seismic work
Volume of electricity generated by renewable energy power plants in Iran announced
Researcher talks monuments on ancient Azerbaijani lands vandalized by Armenians (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for Feb. 27
Azerbaijan's MoD shares footage from Gubadly's Afandilar village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for February 27
Remittances from Azerbaijan to Georgia show highest growth rate
Belarus considering possibility of supplying agricultural machinery to Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi Oil Refinery exceeds plan for kerosene production
Azerbaijani oil prices published
Kazakhstan's uranium mining company opens tender to acquire electro-technical materials
Issuance of construction permissions in Georgia down
Philippines extends partial coronavirus curbs in capital until end-March
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Kazakh gas supply company to attract equipment installation services via tender
Turkey's tourism industry puts hopes on safety measures for new season
Azerbaijani marketing platform plans to become regional player
Argentine health minister tests positive for COVID-19
Czech gov't declares new state of emergency over coronavirus
U.S. FDA advisors recommend approving Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Increase in malware attacks makes cybersecurity more relevant than ever - Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan
South Korea vaccinates 18,000 to start ambitious COVID-19 campaign
US may announce new sanctions on Russia within weeks - White House press secretary
Founder of Indian Jet Airways eyes opening airline in Uzbekistan’s Namangan region
Saudi Arabia rejects U.S. intelligence report on Khashoggi's killing: statement
Israel registers 2,738 new COVID-19 cases, 769,971 in total
U.S. announces 'Khashoggi ban' for 76 Saudi individuals
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 427,000 in past day
Slovenia confirms first case of coronavirus variant identified in S. Africa
UN Security Council adopts resolution on vaccination
UK records another 8,523 coronavirus cases, 345 deaths
Kazakhstan shows interest in supplies of Belarusian sugar, its manufacturing technology
Turkey reports 9,205 new COVID-19 cases, 2,683,971 in total
Iran, Russia emphasize need to coop. in agricultural sector
When will Georgia receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
House poised to approve Biden's $1.9T coronavirus relief bill in Friday vote
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities of banks in Jan. 2021 accounting for deposits
Azerbaijan imposes restrictions on import of poultry meat from Estonian county
Amount of financial support of Kazakh manufacturing sector by Baiterek holding increases
Attracting FDI can help Georgia to boost exports of high-value food products - OECD
European Council extends mandate of special representative for South Caucasus
Kuwait reports 1,022 new COVID-19 cases, 189,046 in total
WHO says COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Africa has gathered steam
Armenia has always supported terrorism - MP
EU supports JCPOA commitments
Azerbaijan focused on rehabilitation, reconstruction of liberated lands - MP
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president talks country's success in int'l information field
Baku Stock Exchange to auction off Azerbaijani Central Bank's short-term notes
Azerbaijan records growth of GDP in non-oil sector over Jan. 2021
Azerbaijan discloses volume of fruits and vegetables exported since early 2021
Azerbaijan would like to bring new ideas, proposals to region with help of OSCE - MP
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan talk opening ground checkpoints
All Armenian prisoners of war have been returned to Armenia - Azerbaijani MP
President Aliyev makes phone call to President Erdogan
Number of electronic registrations of businesses in Azerbaijan growing
TikTok is more affordable with Azercell!
Etsy not thinking of accepting bitcoin right now
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan reach agreement on drilling wells with Satti jack-up rig
Only close cooperation can help demilitarize South Caucasus region - Azerbaijani MP
Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC receives int'l certificate in use of specialized software
FAO outlines strategy for healthy and productive livestock in Europe, Central Asia
Azerbaijan's January 2021 revenues from exports to US increase over fourfold
Registration of new enterprises down in Georgia
We have created new realities, Armenia and other countries must reckon with it - President Aliyev
All news