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First fatal crash on Chinese high speed line

25 Jul 2011

CHINA: Up to 43 passengers are reported to have been killed and over 200 injured following a rear-end collision between two high speed trains at Shuangyu near Wenzhou on July 23. The world’s first fatal train accident on a dedicated high speed line took place on the 250 km/h coastal route between Ningbo and Fuzhou after operations were disrupted by severe weather.

A 16-car CRH1B EMU working train D3115 between Hangzhou and Fuzhou had apparently been brought to a stand by a lightning strike. As it was moving off around 20 min later, it was hit from the rear by Beijing – Fuzhou train D301, operated by a 16-car CRH2E. Six cars were derailed, of which four fell off the 20 m high viaduct. According to the Ministry of Railways, there were 1 072 passengers on board D3115 and 558 on D301.

Minister of Railways Sheng Guangzu has demanded a full investigation into the accident, following a visit to the site. Three senior officials at the Shanghai Railway Bureau have been dismissed, and the wreckage of the trains has already been cleared away.

  • What happened at Wenzhou? Read the Editor's Blog in our Community section.