Train driver killed in China high-speed rail crash

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 04 2022 09:37 PM

People board a train in Beijing EPA-EFE/file
People board a train in Beijing, China, on May 30, 2022. Mark R. Cristino, EPA-EFE/file

A high-speed rail driver was killed and several passengers injured after a train derailed in southwest China's Guizhou province on Saturday, state media reported.

The train, which was en route to Guangdong province, derailed after running into debris that had fallen onto the tracks near a tunnel, official broadcaster CCTV reported.

Video footage published by multiple Chinese outlets showed severe damage to the driver's car, which was pulverised by the impact while the rest of the train remained largely intact.

A rail conductor and seven passengers were injured and sent to hospital, CCTV said, adding that "their lives were not in danger".

"The train driver unfortunately died," CCTV said.

The footage in Chinese media showed confused passengers and children screaming in one of the train cars after the crash, with food and belongings strewn across the floor of the otherwise undamaged car.

"Oh my gosh, what happened?" a man can be heard saying in English in the footage.

CCTV said all passengers had been evacuated from the train, and that "an investigation was ongoing into the causes of the accident".

In recent years, fatal accidents have been rare on China's rail network, which is the world's largest high-speed transport system.

But in 2017, twelve workers died in an explosion wile building a high-speed rail tunnel in Guizhou.

And a high-speed crash in the eastern city of Wenzhou near Shanghai killed around 40 people in 2011, sparking accusations that authorities had compromised safety in their rush to expand the network.