Top officials fired following deadly China rail crash

Three senior railway officials have been fired after a high-speed rail crash killed 35.

Travel Insurance News - 25/07/2011

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China has sacked three top railway officials after the collision of two high-speed trains left 35 people dead. The government also ordered services by 58 other trains to be suspended and ordered safety inspections across the country.

The deadly accident is only the latest in a string of problems for China’s high-speed rail network, which has suffered from controversy, including corruption claims. In the incident on Saturday, two railway coaches plummeted from a bridge after they derailed at a spot near Zhejiang province’s city of Wenzhou.

China’s railways ministry announced that it had fired three top officials at the Shanghai railway bureau. The chief, his deputy and the railway bureau’s senior Communist Party representative have all been sacked.

Wang Yongping, speaking for the railways ministry, said that they are leaders and thus should take the ultimate responsibility over the primary cause of the deadly accident. This latest accident comes while the country invests billions of dollars in constructing a high-speed rail system spanning the country.

Last month, China launched the Beijing-Shanghai link, halving the time it takes to travel between the two key economic centres. The project has been criticised for a variety of reasons.

The project’s high cost has been the biggest complaint. The line between Beijing and Shanghai cost £21 billion.

To make things harder for the authorities, the link was hit by a series of problems caused by power failures. As a result, doubts were raised over the high-speed network’s reliability.

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