WENZHOU, China, (Reuters) – China sacked three senior railway officials yesterday after a collision between two high-speed trains killed at least 35 people and raised new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network.
A bullet train on Saturday night hit another express which lost power following a lightning strike, state media said, in the country’s deadliest rail disaster since 2008.
The power failure knocked out an electronic safety system designed to alert trains about stalled locomotives on the line.
As rescue teams and firefighters with excavators searched for survivors, state television said two young boys had been pulled alive from the wreckage.
There were 1,630 passengers on both trains, which collided on a bridge near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, some 860 miles (1,380 km) south of Beijing.
“The task for us now is to clear the debris and also to check for survivors in those areas that we have not gone to,” said 35-year-old rescue worker Wang Jun. “Also, we are trying to get the railway line to be operational again.”