China officials probe Shanghai subway train crash

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese officials today investigated what caused two subway trains to crash in central Shanghai, injuring more than 270 passengers and dealing another blow to the country’s railway system.

Coming just two months after a deadly collision between two high-speed overland trains, yesterday’s accident renewed public fears about China’s aggressive rail building plans.

The subway crash occurred after a failure in the signal system of Shanghai Metro forced staff to direct trains by telephone, but official newspapers said the company which manages the underground, and some of its staff, may also be to blame.

“The accident occurred at a time when the trains were being directed manually, would that make a difference in determining who’s responsible?” reported the 21st Century Business Herald.

“After the signal failure, conductors, coordinators and drivers were all working, how could the collision have happened?”

The Shanghai government and an outside investigative team were examining the crash which happened near the well-known Yu Yuan garden, leaving 20 critically injured, officials said at news conference late yesterday.

Parts of Line 10 on which the accident occurred were closed today but other lines were operating normally. Shanghai has 11 lines running on more than 400 km of track, as well as a link to its main international airport.

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