. Earth Science News .

China metro crash renews safety fears
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Sept 28, 2011

A metro crash in China's commercial capital Shanghai sparked fresh fears Wednesday that safety may have been compromised in the country's rush to develop its vast transport network.

State media urged the government to "be more cautious" after the collision of two metro trains on Tuesday injured more than 280 people, just months after a deadly high-speed rail crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou killed at least 40.

Most of the injuries were mild, but the accident, blamed on a signalling failure, occurred on one of Shanghai's newest metro lines and is a blow to city authorities after an ambitious expansion programme for the World Expo.

Last year's six-month Expo attracted more than 70 million visitors from around the world and was viewed as a major success for the city as it develops into a global commercial capital.

The Global Times, an English-language daily, said China had no choice but to develop modern transport systems for major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but that it could not afford safety failures.

"China should be more cautious and concentrated at avoiding risks," the paper said in an editorial. "Although this is hard to do the tragedies in Wenzhou and Shanghai keep reminding people that China cannot afford failure."

The newspaper linked the accident to a fire that killed 58 people in a high-rise residential building in Shanghai last November, saying both incidents revealed that despite its modern appearance it was "still a developing city".

Welders accidentally ignited nylon netting around the building, but the companies involved were later found to have won contracts from local officials who accepted bribes.

Authorities have launched an investigation into exactly how the metro accident occurred on line 10, which was only opened in 2010.

But web users set little store by the probe, using China's hugely popular social networking sites to criticise repeated safety failures.

"An investigation team has been set up again. Who will trust it again? Should the same mistake not be corrected before it is repeated 100 times by the blood of ordinary people?" Tang Feng posted on Sina's Weibo, China's biggest microblog.

Much of the public anger focused on Chinese-French joint venture CASCO Signal, which provided the signalling equipment involved in the Shanghai metro accident, according to the citys metro operator.

CASCO is a venture between French transport and power giant Alstom and state-owned China Railway Signal & Communication Corp.

Chinese state media have reported that the signalling system implicated in the Wenzhou train crash was supplied by the same company.

"What kind of power and connections are behind the company to make both high-speed rail and subway stick to it?", economist Ma Guangyuan of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences wrote in the National Business Daily.

"It remains safe and intact in one after another accident and continues to develop rapidly, amid fast expansion of subway construction in various cities."

Business daily Shanghai Securities News ran a critical story headlined "How many times will CASCO signals go wrong again?".

It said CASCO supplied signalling systems for at least six metro lines in Shanghai, as well as the high-speed railway.

Dominique Pouliquen, the president of Alstom China, told AFP that CASCO was "participating in the ongoing investigation," without commenting further.

The number of passengers taking line 10 had dropped visibly on Wednesday, Shanghai television reported. A section of the line remained closed for safety checks.

Related Links
Great Train Journey's of the 21st Century


Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

China's media brands metro crash an 'embarrassment'
Shanghai (AFP) Sept 29, 2011 - Shanghai's metro operator came under fresh fire Thursday, with Chinese media saying a crash that injured more than 280 people was an "embarrassment" to the company.

The accident has shaken Shanghai and added to doubts over the safety of China's rapidly developing transport network, after a high-speed train crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou killed at least 40 people in July.

The Shanghai Metro Company has said errors by its staff played a role in the accident though it also blamed equipment failure, saying a loss of power caused the signalling system to fail and forced drivers to operate trains manually.

"The accident is an embarrassment for the Shanghai Metro operator because it had promised that the current signalling system would prevent trains from hitting one another," the official China Daily newspaper said.

"If this was the case, then why did such an unlikely accident occur?"

But the maker of the signalling system -- Chinese-French joint venture CASCO Signal -- broke its silence Thursday and denied its products caused the crash.

"The signalling system supplied by our company had no relation to this train crash accident," it said in a one sentence statement posted on its website.

CASCO is a venture between French transport and power giant Alstom and state-owned China Railway Signal & Communication Corp.

Alstom has also denied the venture supplied the signalling equipment implicated in the Wenzhou crash, as has been reported in Chinese media.

Users of China's Twitter-like "Weibo", or microblogs, meanwhile questioned the sincerity of the metro operator's apology for the accident.

The company quickly posted an apology after the accident on Tuesday afternoon, calling it the "darkest day" in the 16-year history of the metro.

But that apology was removed and replaced with another that dropped the "darkest day" reference before the original was again re-posted, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.

"The official apology was deleted and issued again," said Yue Luo Zi Mo, writing on Sina Weibo, China's biggest microblog service. "I hope they can give the nation the truth."

Weibos have proven to be an effective public platform for people to criticise the government and companies as traditional media outlets such as newspapers are tightly controlled by the authorities.

Another official newspaper, the Beijing Times, said ensuring safety was more important than an apology.

"If the accident can't be a lesson for the company and the experience fails to be applied to future safety measures, the apology is just not trustworthy or acceptable," it said in a commentary.

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China metro crash injures 271
Shanghai (AFP) Sept 27, 2011
Two metro trains collided in Shanghai on Tuesday, injuring more than 270 people, the city government said, just months after a deadly high-speed rail crash that shocked China. The Shanghai Metro Company blamed the accident on a signal failure - the same cause as a July high-speed train crash that killed at least 40 people and shook public confidence in China's vast rail network, prompting o ... read more

Japan bakery stands out in tsunami wasteland

Formula One: Kobayashi moved by compatriots reaction to tsunami

UN agency sets up nuclear safety 'action team'

Japan will share lessons of nuclear disaster: PM

Judge says Apple/Samsung ruling in Australia next week

New core wall may speed skyscraper construction

Catalyst discovery has potential to revolutionize chemical industry

New nanostructure-based process will streamline production of magnetic materials

Small fish recover faster than large fish

Scientists probe Indian Ocean for clues to worldwide weather patterns

Enough water to double world food production - study

Egypt, Ethiopia mull Nile dams dispute

Chinese target Arctic with Iceland land deal: experts

Model provides successful seasonal forecast for the fate of Arctic sea ice

Putin touts Arctic Northeast passage

Understanding methane's seabed escape

Researchers take advice from a carnivorous plant

New approach challenges old ideas about plant species and biomass

Anger spreads over Bolivia crackdown on protesters

China jails three in dyed bun scandal

Sixteen dead as Typhoon Nesat strikes Philippines

Evacuations as typhoon nears Philippines

Pacific Hurricane Hilary swells to Category Four

More than 150 dead in Thai flooding: govt

Guyana opposition warns foreign bauxite firms

Zambia's Sata tells Chinese investors to respect labour laws

Sierra Leone army chief urges political impartiality

China to build $439-million housing complex in Mozambique

Female promiscuity can rescue populations from harmful effects of inbreeding

DNA study suggests Asia was settled in multiple waves of migration

Did the orientation of the continents hinder ancient settlement of the Americas

The Long Journey Out Of Africe For Aboriginal Australians

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement