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Dozens hurt as Chinese trains collide
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 23, 2012

Two Chinese passenger trains collided Thursday leaving dozens of people injured, the official Xinhua news agency reported, in the latest accident to hit the country's rail network.

At least 24 people were hurt in the collision at Jiamusi station, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, Xinhua said, citing a spokesman for the provincial railway bureau.

The online arm of the state-run People's Daily newspaper said a train waiting at a station platform was hit from behind by another train coming from Hegang.

It was not immediately clear whether the line in question was part of China's high-speed rail network, which has been plagued by accidents and accusations of poor safety standards.

At least 40 people were killed when two high-speed trains collided near the eastern city of Wenzhou in July last year.

That accident -- China's worst rail accident since 2008 -- triggered a flood of criticism of the government and accusations that the authorities had compromised safety in its rush to develop.

China's high-speed rail network is the largest in the world, with 8,358 kilometres (5,193 miles) of track at the end of 2010 even though it only opened to passengers in 2007.

But it has seen a series of graft and safety scandals.

In March 2011 China's state auditor said construction companies and individuals had siphoned off 187 million yuan (around $30 million) in funds meant for a flagship Beijing-Shanghai link that launched just before the Wenzhou crash.

This March, a section of a new high-speed railway in the central province of Hubei province collapsed following heavy rainfall.


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China's fast rail plagued by safety hazards: report
Beijing (AFP) Aug 9, 2012
Multiple high-speed railway lines in operation or under construction in China have "grave" quality problems, a state newspaper said Thursday, a year after a deadly crash sparked public outrage. The Southern Metropolis Daily, citing an internal Ministry of Railways report, said cracks had been detected in tunnels, some of which had been built without the steel bars needed to reinforce them. ... read more

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