Wenzhou train crash 'due to design failures'

Updated: 2011-12-29 07:22

By Xin Dingding (China Daily)

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Investigators into bullet train accident target management

BEIJING - Design flaws, sloppy management and the mishandling of a lightning strike that crippled equipment were behind a bullet train crash in July that killed 40 people, an investigation has found.

A total of 54 people, held accountable for the fatal crash, will face punishment, an executive meeting of the State Council said on Wednesday.

On July 23 a bullet train rammed into another stranded on the track after being hit by lightning near the coastal city of Wenzhou in East China's Zhejiang province.

There were "serious design flaws" in the control equipment used at Wenzhou South Railway Station, the report released on Wednesday said.

The equipment was designed by the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signals and Communication, a subsidiary of the China Railway Signal and Communication Corp.

Investigators believe that the design defects occurred because of the institute's sloppy management and the corporation's failure to fulfill its duty.

The Ministry of Railways was found to have violated bidding rules and technical examination procedures, which allowed the flawed equipment to be used at the railway station and on other rail lines.

In addition, workers at the Shanghai Railway Bureau did not respond properly when vital controls and the train-tracking facility were put out of action by lightning, the report said.

Following the accident, the Ministry of Railways and the Shanghai Railway Bureau "did not properly handle rescue efforts, did not issue information in a timely manner and did not correctly address public concerns," and this caused public anger, the report said.

The meeting decided to give Party and administrative penalties to 54 people and said more serious penalties could follow.

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