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Improper test run faulted for fatal subway accident

By LUO WANGSHU in Beijing and QIN FENG in Xi'an | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-22 09:05

A subway train employee in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, was killed and two other workers were injured during a test run of a train last week that was conducted improperly, resulting in a crash, city authorities said on Sunday.

According to a report by the Xi'an Safety Production Committee, the fatal accident occurred during a test run on the city's Metro Line 10, which is under construction, on Thursday night.

The workers, who were from the company that manufactures the subway trains, failed to conduct the test run properly and caused the train to rear-end another, the report said.

The accident has been identified as a safety production liability incident. A comprehensive investigation has been launched by Xi'an's city government. The city's safety production committee has directed Xi'an Rail Transit Group, the city's metro service operator, to enhance safety coordination and management.

Additionally, Xi'an CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles, the company responsible for testing the subway trains, has been required to standardize operational procedures and take measures to prevent such an accident from recurring.

Construction of Xi'an Metro Line 10 began on July 1, 2020. The line, covering about 34 kilometers and with a designed maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour, is scheduled to be ready for operation by September.

According to Xi'an Rail Transit Group, the metro system is one of the most important means of transportation in the city, which is a popular destination for tourists.

During the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday earlier this month, the metro system saw an average of 4.86 million passenger trips a day, setting a record.

The accident has sparked public concerns about subway safety and resurrected discussions about previous cases.

In another high-profile subway accident in Beijing in December, three people sustained severe injuries, and total economic losses were estimated at about 9.5 million yuan ($1.32 million). That incident was also classified as a safety liability issue due to the multiple injuries it caused.

The accident in Beijing was attributed to several factors, including snowy weather that affected the train's braking system, inadequate implementation of measures to address such weather by the operations unit, and the mishandling of the train by both the dispatcher and the driver.

According to an earlier report by the Beijing Commission of Transport, 515 people were sent to hospitals after the accident, with 102 sustaining fractures.

Netizens commenting on the Xi'an accident have expressed sentiments such as "Safety is the top priority" and offered condolences with messages like "May the deceased Rest in Peace". Some also expressed worries about the possibility of Line 10 not opening on schedule in September.

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