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Ministry spokesman apologizes for deadly crash; says high-speed railway still faces challenges

07-25-2011 09:56 BJT Special Report:Two High-Speed Trains Crash in East China |

WENZHOU, July 24 (Xinhua) -- An official with China's Ministry of Railways late Sunday delievered an apology to all passengers following a deadly train collision in the eastern province of Zhejiang, which left 35 people dead and 192 others injured.

Wang Yongping, spokesman of the Ministry of Railways, bows at a press conference on the high-speed train crash in Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, July 24, 2011. (Xinhua/Xiang Guangli)

Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping also expressed condolences to the victims and bereaved families at a press conference Sunday night.

The accident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday on a viaduct near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang when bullet train D301 rear-ended D3115. The first four cars of the moving train fell off the viaduct onto the ground below. The last two cars of the stalled train derailed.

An initial investigation showed that train D3115 lost power and stalled after being struck by lightning.

A total of 132 people are still being treated in hospital, Wang said.

Twelve people remain in critical condition, said Cheng Jinguo, deputy head of the Wenzhou health bureau.

Cheng said at the press conference that 52 people who suffered slight injuries had been discharged from hospital.

Wang said the crash has caused large number of casualties and great property losses. The ministry will find out the cause through thorough investigations and take effective measures to prevent similar accidents.

Despite the accident, the spokesman said the ministry is still confident in China's high-speed trains.

"China's high-speed train is advanced and qualified. We have confidence in it," he said.

However, he also said that the high-speed railway service has only operated for a short period, and its safety is confronted with many new situations and problems.

"Safety should be put as the top priority," Wang said.


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