China / Society

14 punished for fatal Gansu truck crash

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-08-28 19:55

LANZHOU - Fourteen railway managers have been punished after a truck carrying railway construction workers overturned last October in a tunnel in northwest China's Gansu Province, killing 24 and injuring four, a local work safety watchdog announced on Tuesday.

The 14, ranging from railway construction project managers to the top management of companies responsible for the construction, received administrative penalties including reprimands, warnings, demotions and removal from their posts, said a report submitted by the provincial safety supervision management bureau and approved by the provincial government.

The No 1 Branch Company under the China Railway 19th Bureau Group. Co. Ltd., a company responsible for the tunnel's construction, was fined 1.5 million yuan ($236,063), according to the report.

Mao Bingzhong, the driver who died in the accident, was exempted from any responsibility, it said.

A light truck carrying railway construction workers lost control and slammed into the wall of a mountain tunnel at 7:28 am on October 29, 2011, in Manwa Township in Lintao County.

The vehicle overturned, killing 24 people on board, including Mao, and injuring four others. Direct economic losses from the accident reached 21.34 million yuan, according to the report.

Investigation showed that brake failure was to blame. Mao illegally refitted the truck and ran downhill in a high gear, which also contributed to the accident.

The truck was designed to carry construction material and two people. But it was used by a local cargo company to transport railway workers, violating traffic regulations.

The tunnel was still under construction as part of a railway that will link the northwestern city of Lanzhou with Chongqing in the southwest. The railway line is expected to be put into operation in 2014.

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