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At least 35 dead, 210 injured after Chinese trains collide Eds: Increases death, injury toll

Other News Materials 24 July 2011 10:08
At least 35 people were killed and 210 injured after a high-speed train in east China ploughed into the back of another bullet train that had lost power, a news report said Sunday.
At least 35 dead, 210 injured after Chinese trains collide Eds: Increases death, injury toll

At least 35 people were killed and 210 injured after a high-speed train in east China ploughed into the back of another bullet train that had lost power, a news report said Sunday, DPA reported.

One train lost power and stalled after being struck by lightning late Saturday, and the other train, running behind it, subsequently crashed into it, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing statements from the Ministry of Railways and the provincial emergency office.

The collision forced two carriages of the crippled train off the track, and four from the other train to derail and fall off a concrete bridge, plunging 20 meters to 30 metres to the ground.

About 600 passengers were aboard the six carriages that derailed. A total of 1,400 passengers were on board the two trains. The accident occurred in Wenzhou City in the south-eastern province of Zhejiang at around 8.30 pm (1230 GMT).

"We were trapped in a carriage for more than an hour before five of us broke a window and crawled out," Xinhua quoted a 40-year-old man who survived the crash as saying.

The bullet train that was struck, the D3115, was en route to the provincial capital Hangzhou from Fuzhou, capital of the neighbouring province of Fujian. The train that hit the crippled train, the D301, was en route to Fuzhou from Beijing.

Purported photos of the scene posted on China's Twitter-like microblog service Sina Weibo appeared to show one rail carriage standing almost vertical, with one end on a concrete bridge and the other resting on the ground about 20 to 30 metres below.

In the photo, the wreckage of another derailed carriage lay in a horizontal position on the ground below the bridge, with tens of rescuers working on top of it.

Other photos showed victims being carried away from the scene on stretchers.

China has invested billions of dollars in its high-speed train network, which had become a source of national pride even as questions about safety arose after malfunctions and power outages.

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